What do Mangan's sister and Araby each represent for the narrator in "Araby"?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,788 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In this coming-of-age story the young narrator discovers that he will not find the exotic and imaginative "other" that he craves in the confines of Dublin. Both Mangan's sister and the bazaar, Araby, represent that magical "other." In fact, the two conflate into one, to the point that the bazaar's potentially Asian-sounding name almost seems to be the name of the girl. Thus, the bazaar represents his friend's unnamed sister, on whom the narrator has a crush.

The narrator lives in a "blind" alley. A "blind" alley is a cul-de-sac or dead end street, but the word acts in the story as a double entendre, also representing the boy's own blindness.

When he gets too late to the bazaar, which is very ordinary after all, the narrator has an epiphany in which his eyes open. He realizes that both the bazaar and, hence, to his mind, the girl have nothing to offer him. His dreams have been a hollow illusion.

It would be interesting to analyze the girl and the bazaar in light of Edward Said's idea of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 679 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write9,912 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Eleanora Howe eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write653 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial