Enumerate the activities taking place at Araby. To what extent do they sustain its “magical name”?

2 Answers | Add Yours

dstuva's profile pic

Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The bazaar itself in Joyce's "Araby," doesn't fulfill its magical name.  The image of the bazaar that Mangan's sister and the narrator have is an illusion.  That's the point of the bazaar in the story.

By the time the boy arrives, it's half-closed, the conversation by the workers that he overhears is silly and coarse and trivial, and the objects for sale are not worth buying. 

The boy realizes the bazaar is just a low-rent place to buy worthless trinkets sponsored by the church for the purpose of making money for the church.  It is the destruction of this illusion, that leads the boy to his realization, or epiphany, that destroys his other illusions:  that Mangan's sister is somehow akin to the Virgin Mary, that he is a holy warrior, and that they have some kind of special relationship. 

He realizes how foolish and silly he's been.  The blindness, figuratively, is lifted from his eyes.   

kapokkid's profile pic

kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

At least in the eyes of the boy, they most certainly do not live up to the magic of its name.  By the time he arrives, almost all the stalls are closed up and the shop keepers are idly chatting about this and that.  His interaction with the one shop keeper leaves him thus:

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

The fact that the place had lost all its magic completely ruins it for the boy.

We’ve answered 318,910 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question