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Araby And James Joyce

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Category: English

Autor: reviewessays 14 July 2011

Words: 1151 | Pages: 5

The short story “Araby” is clearly identifiable as the work of James Joyce. His vocalized ambition of acquainting fellow Irish natives with the true temperament of his homeland is apparent throughout the story. Joyce’s painstakingly precise writing style can be observed throughout “Araby” as well. Roman Catholicism, which played a heavy role in Joyce’s life, also does so in the story which is another aspect which makes Joyce’s authorship of the story unmistakable. As a result of Irish heritage displayed in “Araby” along with evidence of Joyce’s unmistakable writing style throughout and the role of Catholicism in the story, “Araby” is instantly recognizable as the work of James Joyce.

In his writing of Dubliners as a whole James Joyce hoped to familiarize fellow Irish natives with Ireland’s true nature. In his article “James Joyce” Paul Gray quotes Joyce as having said, “One of the things I could never get used to in my youth was the difference I found between life and literature,” so one of his ambitions was to erase this contrast (Gray 1). One of Joyce’s attempts at fulfilling this goal can be observed at the melancholy ending of “Araby” where after his fruitlessly covetous quest for �Mangan’s sister’ the narrator laments, “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity,” (Joyce 886). In a similar context as that of Gray’s article Joyce is quoted in a book, James Joyce Remembered, by C.P. Curran who was an acquaintance of Joyce’s, specifically about the purpose of his collection of stories Dubliners, of which “Araby” is a part, as saying, “I call the series Dubliners to betray the soul of that hemiplegia or paralysis which many consider a city,” (9). In John Diconsiglio’s article “Call it James Joyce’s Revenge” Joyce is quoted on the purpose of Dubliners yet again in the third paragraph which states, “Joyce wrote that it was written so that the Irish could have �one good look at themselves in my nicely polished looking glass,” (3). Since he was repetitively quoted concerning such, Joyce made the goal of his story “Araby” known as propagating his perspective of the true nature of Ireland.

Several aspects of Joyce’s meticulous writing style can be observed in his story “Araby.” In his book Exploring James Joyce Joseph Prescott draws attention to, “Joyce’s use of words in such a sense or context as to throw upon them a stronger light than they ordinarily enjoy,” (8). Evidence of this supposition lies at the end of the fifth paragraph of “Araby” in the form of the metaphor, “But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires,” (Joyce 884). In consideration of such peculiarity the following relation from Robert Kaplan’s article “Madness and James Joyce” is more understandable, “There is a telling anecdote from Frank Budgen, his friend and biographer. Joyce said he had been working hard all day – writing two sentences. �You were seeking the right words?’ asked Budgen. �No,’ replied Joyce, �I have the words already. What I am seeking is the perfect order in the sentence,” (37). In addition to Joyce’s precision with his placement of words, his connotation often seems either supplemental or ironic. As Peter de Voogd mentions in his article “Imagine, Eveline, Visualised Focalisations in James Joyce’s Dubliners” “Imaging the text of Dubliners also includes the way in which the shape of a thing or name mentioned may add to or contradict its meaning,” (9). An example of this lies in the ninth paragraph of “Araby” where the following statement can be found, “I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child’s play, ugly, monotonous child’s play,” (Joyce 884). These examples show how “Araby” contains Joyce’s specifically meticulous writing style.

Another aspect of the style in which James Joyce writes which can be observed in “Araby” through the role of Catholicism in such is his tendency to write from his own life experiences. As Brian Phillips writes in his article “Joyce’s Visions” “Joyce was a relentlessly autobiographical writer,” (5). Ruth von Phul comments similarly in A James Joyce Miscellany, “It is hardly possible to overestimate the autobiographical element in Joyce’s work,” (Magalaner 119). In his article “James Joyce” Paul Gray relates not only how Joyce’s entire education came from the Jesuits, who form a sect of Catholicism, but also how piously devoted his mother was to the Roman Catholic faith (2). With regard to the self assessment of the narrator of “Araby,” “I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity,” A.R. Coulthard determines in his article “Joyce’s Araby,” “Anguish and anger are merely emotional reactions but the admission of vanity, which reflects the oppressive Catholicism in the story, is a severe moral judgment,” (3). This is an identifying mark of the story because, as John Diconsiglio relates in his article “Call it James Joyce’s Revenge,” “As an adult and artist, Joyce rebelled against his family, his country, and his religion,” (6). Joyce’s revolt against Catholicism can also be observed in the short story “Araby.”

Several aspects of the short story “Araby” unquestionably leave James Joyce as the author. For example, his articulated ambition of familiarizing fellow natives of Ireland with the true nature of his homeland can be observed in the story. The exactitude of Joyce’s writing style is also apparent throughout the story. In addition, the role of Catholicism in the story is a significant marker of Joyce’s authorship because of the role it played in his life. James Joyce’s authorship of the short story “Araby” is obvious as a result of the Irish heritage displayed in the story, evidence of Joyce’s writing style, and the role of Catholicism in the story.

Works Cited

>Coulthard, A.R. "Joyce's Araby." Explicator. Winter 1994. MLA bibliography database. Galileo. 25 March 2008.

>Curran, C.P. James Joyce Remembered. New York, Oxford University Press, 1968. MLA bibliography database. Galileo. 24 March 2008.

>Diconsiglio, John. "Call it James Joyce's Revenge." Literary Cavalcade. March 2000. MLA bibligraphy database. Galileo. 27 March 2008.

>Gray, Paul. "James Joyce." Time Canada. June 1998. MLA bibliography database. Galileo. 27 March 2008.

>Joyce, James. “Araby.” Ed. Sylvan Barnet, William Burto, William E. Cain. Pearson/Longman, 2007. 882-886

>Kaplan, Robert. "Madness and James Joyce." Australasian Psychiatry. June 2002. MLA bibliography database. Galileo. 25 March 2008.

>Magalaner, Marvin. A James Joyce Miscellany, second series. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University, 1959. MLA bibliography database. Galileo. 24 March 2008.

>O'Brien, George. "James Joyce." Critical Survey of Short Fiction. Salem Press, Inc. 2001. MLA bibliography database. Galileo. 27 March 2008.

>Phillips, Brian. "Joyce's Visions." Hudson Review. Summer 2004. MLA bibliography database. Galileo. 25 March 2008.

>Prescott, Joseph. Exploring James Joyce. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press, 1964. MLA bibliography database. Galileo. 24 March 2008.

>de Voogd, Peter. "Imagine, Eveline, Visualised Focalisations in James Joyce's Dubliners." European Journal of English Studies. April 2000. MLA bibliography database. Galileo. 25 March 2008.