Both of the protagonists in the beginning of A&P and Araby are young teenage boys who have fairy tale-like fantasies about women around them. At the start of each story both of them are portrayed as immature and child-like characters who misconceive the emotions they feel for certain women figures as love and need for protection. They try to act romantically the way they learnt from fairy tales and movies. Both of these characters also have moments of realization, a sort of epiphany at the end and go under a phase of maturity.
The main difference between the two characters would be the narrative. The boy in Araby is portrayed as his old self in a flashback since the narrative is a much older version of the protagonist. The boy in A&P however has an instant insight which is very brief and short compared to that in Araby. The boy in Araby had his epiphany by going on a demanding quest and facing the hardships whereas the character in A&P had a moment of realization coincidentally after making a wrong decision in life.