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Much of the symbolism in the work revolves around Catholicism. One example of symbolism is the Catholic priest, who could be said, given the overall ambivalence toward the Catholic Church in the work, could be said to represent the entire Church. The bazaar represents exoticism in the rather parochial world of Dublin, and the boy's trip there is somewhat of a pilgrimage. Mangan's sister is an example of chasteness and femininity, traits associated with the Virgin Mary. On the other hand, both the pawnbroker's widow and Araby itself might be read as representative of crass commercialism and materialism, with Araby being a notably shallow form of it.
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