In "Araby," what relationship exists between the speakers pain at the end of the story to the ideas in the first paragraph?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The central relationship between the beginning and the end of this story lies in the way in which North Richmond Street and its description also is shown to perfectly describe the narrator and his curious lack of self-perception. Let us remember that North Richmond Street is said to be "blind," which is rather a curious adjective to apply to a street. As the story progresses, however, we come to realise that just as this street is blind, so the narrator is blind and lacking awareness of his impossibly romanticised view of life. He transforms what is a simple and insignificant request from Mangan's sister to buy her something from the bazaar into a romantic quest of Arthurian proportions as he casts himself in the role of knight errant, battling through various dangers for love of his lady:

I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand.

These imaginings show just how "blind" the narrator is in terms of how he views himself and his journey to the bazaar. However, at the end of the story he experiences a rude awakening in his epiphany, when he is forced to see for the first time just how ridiculous he has been. Note how the story ends:

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

The boy has been forced to recognise how "blind" he has been, and his response is to express both anguish and anger.