Comparing Three Short Stories By James Joyce; Araby, Eveline And A Little Cloud

1458 words - 6 pages

James Joyce's Dubliners is a collection of short stories that offers a brief, but intimate window into the lives of a variety of characters, many of whom have nothing in common beyond the fact that they live in Dublin. Men and women of all ages, occupations and social classes are represented in this collection. The stories in Dubliners are often about the ways in which these individuals attempt to escape from the numbness and inertia that their lives yield, and the moments of painful self-realization that follow these attempts. "Araby", "The Dead" and "A Little Cloud", stories included in Dubliners best portray the idea of the endeavours one must go on to find themselves.During the time Dubliners was written, Ireland was in deep political turmoil following the death of Charles Parnell, the Nationalist leader who had rallied much of the county in support of Irish independence. Joyce subsequently incorporates the feelings of exhaustion, emptiness and numbness into his characters as a result of this political upheaval. "Araby", "The Dead" and "A Little Cloud" are remarkable not only for their reaction of Dublin in the early Twentieth century, but also for their brilliant understanding of human character in its moment of revelation."Araby" chronicles a young boy's disclosure from the moment he experiences an intense emotional and physical attraction toward a girl, for the very first time. The boy, whom remains nameless throughout the story, feels passionately drawn to his friend Mangan's sister. One day, she asks him if he is going to Araby, a local bazaar. Unable to attend, Mangan's sister urges the boy to go. Hypnotized by her presence, the boy promises that if he goes he will bring something back for her. After a sleepless night, the boy dwells on his feelings for Mangan's sister and the possibilities of giving her something from the Araby bazaar. He asks permission from his uncle to go, and he receives it; but his uncle seems distracted and comes home extremely late on the night of the bazaar. Notwithstanding the hour, the boy's uncle lets him go. He ventures aboard the train to Araby, but when he arrives it is almost closing time, and most of the stalls are empty. The bazaar grows darker, and the boy looks up into the abyss, feeling wounded by vanity and overcome with anguish and fury.The boy's passionate, uncontrollable feelings for the girl blindside him, and he can do very little but feel them and follow them. "My body was like a harp," he says, " and her words and gestured were like fingers running upon the wires." Joyce essentially sucks all the life out of this boy, so that he becomes a puppet, and his strings the passion he feels for this girl, leading him to Araby. In the context of his awakening feelings, the boy's frustration with his absentminded uncle takes on a new urgency; he suddenly longs to escape his household into a new and confident independence, to follow his feeling for Mangan's sister into the adult world. But when he...

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