How is James Joyce's short story, "Araby" an initiation story?

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James Joyce's short story, "Araby" is an initiation or rite of passage story.

A rite of passage is...

...a ritual event that marks a person's progress from one status to another.

Joyce's story concentrates on an emotional transition—the loss of emotional or psychological innocence. There are many "rite of passage" stories. For example:

..."Araby" [greatly influenced] John Updike, whose oft-anthologized short story, "A&P", is a contemporary (1960s American) reimagining of Joyce's tale...

In Joyce's "Araby," the unnamed narrator is a close friend with Mangan, and he has a crush on Mangan's sister. The narrator watches her; the details he notices are not those of a disinterested kid:

...I stood by the railings looking at her. Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.

As the narrator continues to describe how he acts when she is around, the reader gets a very clear picture of just how much he likes her:

When she came out on the doorstep my heart...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 804 words.)

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