What are the conflicts that the narrator faced in "Araby"?

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kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narrator's conflicts are within himself, first of all.  There is the obvious conflict involving his strong attraction to Mangan's sister, first of all.  He is immediately smitten with her and finds himself thinking about her constantly and unable to focus on much else...so much so that he resorts to going to a quiet place so he can have no distractions when thinking of her.  At the end, he is angry with himself (and embarrassed) that he has gotten so carried away with his attraction to this girl.  He reacts this way because his thoughts of her overtook his life and his normal routing, leaving him to do "irrational" things, like rushing down to the bazaar to get her a gift. He has this epiphany as he overhears a gossip-y conversation at the bazaar:

The narrator experiences emotional growth—changing from an innocent young boy to a disillusioned adolescent—in the flash of an instant. This insight occurs through what Joyce called an "epiphany," which is a moment of intense insight and self-understanding. Although the narrator suddenly understands that he has allowed his feelings to get carried away, this understanding makes him neither happy nor satisfied. If anything, he is very angry at himself for acting foolishly. This realization marks the beginning of his maturation from a child into an adult. ("Araby" enotes)

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