When comparing the views of both James Joyce and John Updike on maturation from adolescence to adulthood it will be important to continually compare two of their similar works in Joyce’s “Araby” and Updike’s “A&P”. James Joyce and John Updike follow similar views with the latter using Joyce as a foundation and following in similar footsteps; both authors follow a process of maturation based on the allure of love, while doing it at different stages of each of the protagonists’ lives resulting in similar views with different stages. First, both authors use the characters telling their own story in first person narration to express the protagonist’s inner thoughts and level of maturity. Second, again both Joyce and Updike use several literary metaphor’s to express the sexual and provocative intention of the main characters. Lastly, Joyce and Updike use different age, maturity and settings in their stories to define their rate of maturation and the results of the story.
To begin, the first person narrative used in James Joyce’s “Araby” allows for Joyce to develop a younger character whose feelings, thoughts and maturity level is open to the understanding and criticism of the audience. The expansive level of personal description by Joyce’s narrator also indicates that the Joyce is trying to both develop the story itself but also the protagonist in terms of maturity level, general intelligence and knowledge. One of the main similarities between the two stories is the fact that the main character, who is also the protagonist, has developed an amazing, yet unrealistic, expectations of women. Thus, having them focus upon one woman in particular towards which the protagonists direct all their affection.
Continually, in Updike’s “A&P” the first person narrative uses less description of personal integrity and increased description of details and setting by the main character “Sammy”. This interesting difference between the style of first person narration between Joyce and Updike highlights the point that Updike’s character has more advanced maturity in comparison to the narrator in “Araby”.
Accordingly, the various uses of language including literary metaphor’s used by Joyce and Updike to express the sexual and provocative nature of the main character’s thoughts and actions. These thoughts and actions are used by both authors to indicate a growing sense of maturation that they believe occurs to all persons of similarity to the protagonists. In “Araby” the one of the primary indications of a sexual development occurs through a metaphor used by Joyce:
“One evening I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil...