The boy in James Joyce’s short story “Araby” is characterized in a number of different ways, including the following:
- He grows up in relatively poor and unpromising circumstances, but he does not seem especially bitter, angry, or self-pitying about those circumstances themselves. Whatever harsh judgments he makes are judgments he usually directs at himself.
- He seems as imaginative as an adult as he was as a boy, as when he uses personification to describe how the
other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.
- He seems unconventional, as when he notes that he liked a particular book because its pages were yellow. Another kind of boy might have had entirely different, and entirely predictable, kinds of reasons for liking a particular book.
- He seems capable of appreciating ethical behavior, as in his praise of the “very charitable priest.”
- He is observant, as when he notes that
The space of sky above us was the...
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