Araby Ideas for Reports and Papers
by James Joyce

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. A recurring theme in many of the stories in Dubliners is a longing for escape expressed through fantasies of flight to some place Eastern and exotic. What place represents the unknown to you? Research this place and discuss whether it is truly exotic and mysterious or just different.

2. Catholicism figures prominently in much of Joyce's work. Compare the influence of the Catholic Church in Ireland at the turn of the century and today. Would the themes of religious confusion and doubt in "Araby" create controversy in modern-day Ireland?

3. Discuss the three books that are left by the previous occupant of the narrator's house: "The Abbot, by Walter Scott, The Devout Communicant, and The Memoirs of Vidocq.'' What does each represent in the story?

4. Compare and contrast Joyce's portrayal of Irish life with that of a contemporary writer, such as Roddy Doyle in Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

5. Discuss "Araby" in relation to the other stories in Dubliners. In particular, consider its position in the overall structure of the collection and the subjects and themes it explores.

6. What is signified in the story by "The Arab's Farewell to His Steed," the poem that the narrator's inebriated uncle begins to recite to his wife as the boy leaves for the bazaar?