What could be used as a thesis statement for "Araby"?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Araby" is part of the Dubliners series of short stories by James Joyce, who uses his own personal experiences in the creation of his characters and situations. Joyce makes his characters and their descriptions very real by using ordinary examples that the reader can relate to. The reader becomes invested in the outcome as he or she hopes that the boy will be able to impress Mangan's sister. The reader even shares his loss when he comes away from the bazaar disillusioned.

In any essay on fiction, a thesis statement (usually one sentence) is contained in the first paragraph and is intended to reveal the main point of the essay while at the same time ensuring that the writer retains his focus and the reader is inspired to read on. A good thesis statement therefore needs some basic elements which are related to the themes. Consider the main themes which will help form a thesis statement.

In "Araby," a thesis statement could discuss all or any of the main themes (innocence and loss of innocence, alienation, the effect of religion on Irish society, and transformation as the boy takes his first steps towards maturity). In discussing the theme of innocence which dominates the story, the boy makes every effort to keep his promise to Mangan's sister, that he will bring her something from the bazaar. Only once he enters the big hall does he begin to question his intentions and wonder why he has gone to so much trouble as he says, "Remembering with difficulty why I had come..." The boy's obsession with Mangan's sister drives his desires and reveals that loss of innocence can be a painful experience as the boy recognizes his efforts as futile.

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Araby

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