The Narrator of Araby Can the narrator's experiences in "Araby" be read as postive? And do they carry over into other stories in Dubliners?

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I don't think that we can read the narrator's experience as being positive in any kind of value-based way. If the experiences are positive it is only in a utilitarian way. The boy learns a valuable lesson about how strongly fantasy can work on a person's perceptions and can construct whole contexts that lead to strange behavior.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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I think "Araby's" message is one of the stark reality and is a direct comment on the "ideal" of love that we tend to have as human beings.  The boy's obsession with his friend's sister is "dreamy" and fantasy-like.  He forgets his studies and his family and focuses only on watching her and thinking of her.  Love simply isn't like that and is not a simple thing.  The boy realizes that love is complicated and NOT the wonderful fantasy he though it would be.  Love it tough!  I definitely think this is reflected in other stories in Dubliners, yes!

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anzio45 | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Basically the story is one of fantasy and disillusionment. The narrator seems to be on the edge of adolescence and has developed an all-consuming passion for Mangan's sister, who lives in his neighbourhood. His hopes begin to centre on the bazaar, Araby, and on bringing a gift for her from it. However, the 'real' world obtrudes in several ways and his fantasy is crushed: his uncle keeps him late, the bazaar is already closing up when he arrives, the only person still working there is less than interested in him, and eventually he leaves in disillusionment, not only with the bazaar but with his desire for Mangan's sister: he knows she is unattainable and sees the foolishness of his romantic hopes. There is another story in which he recognises his own vanity in a different way, 'An Encounter'. He realises that the boy he plays hookey with is wiser in the ways of the world than he is, despite his somewhat condescending and superior attitude towards him.

sohailbutt505's profile pic

sohailbutt505 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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THE PROTAGONIST OF THIS STORY REPRESENTS ADOLESENCE AND ITS POIGNANT FEELINGS AND CONFLICTS.ADOLESENTS' NATURE TENDS TO BE TOO OTHERWORDLY 4 THE PRACTICAL PURPOSES OF LIVING IN THIS WORLD AS IT Z.THEY SOMETIMES EXIST EMOTIONALLY RATHER THAN RATIONALLY,INSTINCTIVELY RATHER THAN INTELLECTUALLY.ANY REBELLION THEY MAKE AGAINST CONVENTION Z PERSONAL,HOWEVER AS THEY DO NOT HAVE ENERGY OR MOTIVATION TO BATTLE AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT.SO THEY TEND TO WITHDRAW INTO A DREAM WORLD.BUT DISCLOSURE OF THE HARSH REALITIES OF THE LIFE BRING THEM ONLY DISAPPOINTMENT .

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