In the second paragraph of James Joyce's "Araby," the narrator remarks, "The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple-tree."
This allusion to the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis, and the tree which bore forbidden fruit, introduces a series of references to the story of the fall that stretches through the story. Like Adam, the narrator is captivated by the beauty of a woman, who for him is the first woman, and this leads to his downfall and the loss of innocence.
Adam's love for Eve made him forget his love for and duty to God. The narrator says, "But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires."
In the Bible, David was renowned for his skill with the harp, and his playing pleased the Lord and caused the evil spirit to depart from Saul in the book of Samuel. This reference, therefore, suggests a misappropriation of divine power, as the boy worships the girl like a deity.
At the bazaar, the narrator says,
I looked humbly at the great jars that stood like eastern guards at either side of the dark entrance to the stall.
This takes the reader back to the book of Genesis and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. God places two angels at the eastern end of the garden to prevent them from returning, just as the boy in "Araby" can never return to the innocence of childhood at the end of the story.