How does the irony in "Araby" heighten the moment of epiphany within the story?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The narrator's situation is ironic because he believed the exotically named Araby bazaar would somehow be different and more enchanting than his ordinary, drab Dublin world, even though it occurred in the heart of Dublin. The boy thinks he can show his power and impress Mangan's sister, his object of desire, by bringing her back a special gift from this bazaar.

The narrator has to wait for his alcoholic uncle to get home to get the money he needs to go the bazaar, and by the time he gets there, it is closing. Worse, it is unimpressive, especially in its closing stages, and it is peopled with ordinary Dubliners. The only things on sale are ordinary goods: the boy examines "porcelain vases and flowered tea-sets." Ironically, there is nothing here for him—or for Mangan's sister—that in any way represents the exotic.

The irony of the setting, amid flirting...

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