How does the boy lose his innocence in "Araby"?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narrator of "Araby" loses his innocence when he realizes that the world doesn't care at all about his love, that what makes the world go round is money and not feeling, that nothing will ever be as good as one hopes it will be. Once he determines to go to the Araby bazaar and buy a gift for his beloved, Mangan's sister, it seems as though everything that could possibly delay him does. First, he must endure days of wretched and useless schoolwork on which he cannot possibly concentrate. Next, his uncle is late and must have his supper before the narrator can ask him for the money he was promised, and then, when he does, his uncle wants to discuss poetry with him! (The poem does relate, but the boy could not care less about a poem in this moment.) Then the train is delayed and seems to crawl along at a very slow pace when it does finally move. Ultimately, when the boy arrives at Araby, he has to pay to get in, it is mostly closed anyway, and the only open stall is run by a young English woman selling porcelain tea cups and vases, not at all the exotic goods or experience for which he was hoping. He hears the coins clanking in a dish nearby, and all the lights go out. It is at this moment that the boy has his epiphany, and he loses his innocence.