Araby tone Essay

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“Araby,” a short story from James Joyce’s Dubliners, recounts an unnamed boy’s transition from childhood into adulthood, from a life filled with fantasy to all the harsh realities of life in Ireland under British rule. The narrator of the story is the older version of the protagonist, and as a result the prose seems far from what a child would write—a preadolescent would not display such self-awareness and understanding. Further examination of the text shows that the narrator is actually embarrassed and chagrined by the confused adoration towards his friend’s older sister that marked his childhood, creating a reflective yet fatuous tone that is developed through the utilization of literary devices such as dramatic diction, simile, …show more content…
In fact, the oppressive and despairing darkness surrounds the protagonist to such an extent that the “feeble” streetlights cannot displace it. With his environment so entrenched in gloom, the boy develops a crush on his friend’s sister and describes her as being “defined by light.” In this way, light is a metaphor for life, love, and childhood innocence. However, he then uses the lack of light to ensure his anonymity by resolving to love her from afar, whether it be from the “shadow” in front of her house or behind closed doors within his own. In this case, the use of light and dark conveys the story’s tone by displaying the foolishness of the fact that the boy believes he is in love with someone, yet prefers to be shrouded in darkness when near her. The metaphor can also be related to vision, another central theme in the story. In the first paragraph, the narrator describes the street on which he lived as being “blind,” which refers to both a dead-end street and an inability to see. As the plot progressed, the young boy continued to be blinded by his love and by the light. But when he arrived late to the bazaar most of the lights had already been turned off, save for the light that was extinguished after the boy’s epiphany. Although no longer blind, the total darkness led to his disillusionment with love and forced him into a position where he could no longer hide from the harsh realities of adult life. The love that blinded the

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