When the theme of innocence and experience is being discussed you can distinguish the correlation between them, ho they both tie into one another. People view childhood as a time of innocence, growth, and freedom from the responsibilities of maturity, whereas adulthood is a time of experience. This coming of age is actually a time where we re-evaluate our identity as adolescences. It is the time in our lives where we continue to find our true selves and explore who we are by experiencing rough circumstances in life-even if it becomes a painful process-while being subjected to an awakening of a bigger picture of life outside our small world.
In Araby by James Joyce, we can visualize the transition from fantasy to reality. The narrator thinks of an entire event in the form of an epic quest. He puts Mangan’s sister up on a pedestal and makes himself think he is a knight going after the princess. After hearing the conversation at the bazaar, the narrator reaches an epiphany but not a positive one. Instead of reaffirming his love for Mangan’s sister, he gives up. The boy has his epiphany, but we never find out what happens to his plans or ambitions after the epiphany.
Araby focuses on the sudden transition from the illusions of childhood to the insight of maturity. He also leaves out the character’s names to show they haven’t developed a mature identity yet. The boy in Araby experiences the disillusionment in his ideas. At some point in our lives we experience something that begins to diminish what is left of our innocence. But this loss of innocence is what helps us move to a greater wisdom about ourselves and the world around us.
Courtney from Study Moose
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