Araby Questions and Answers
by James Joyce

Araby book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In James Joyce's short story, "Araby," what are the narrator's motives in the story?

Expert Answers info

booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2003

write4,119 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

James Joyce's "Araby" is a coming of age story. The narrator is a young man with an enormous crush on his friend's sister. She is older, but he worships her from a distance, obsessed with everything about her. The story shares the narrator's journey from idealization—seeing himself almost as her champion—to confronting the reality of his age, his behavior, and how the world works.

The author's motives are to make an impression on Mangan's sister. He wants to be noticed by her—to feed his desire to see himself in a positive light; her attention could make him feel like something special.

Some themes in the story are easy to understand regarding this young man's journey. They include change and transformation; and God and religion. The love he imagines for her changes him; and his realizations about the "real" world, transform him yet again—this is his emotional growth. At the same time, the narrator believes his love has a religious component to it as well:

The narrator of this...

(The entire section contains 624 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial