Importance of Feeling in Story of Araby

Categories: ArabyShort Story

The story of Araby is unique in every way possible. The story consists of a considerable amount of romance, resentment, reminiscences, and concentration. What makes Araby even more interesting is that the narrator is deemed unknown with no name. Although, throughout the story, it is known that the narrator is a boy who has strong feelings for his friend Mangan’s sister. Every moment is savored whenever the narrator is around her. The narrator also has strong but odd relations with his uncle as well.

Most important, the narrator address the odd goings that has occured in the house on North Dublin street where the narrator lives.

The narrator desperately wants Mangan’s sister to acknowledge him, unfortunately, the narrator fears that he’ll never retain the courage to express to his crush how he truly feels about her. In the text the author states, “…what is more important, Mangan’s sister is the adored girl” (Harry 3). He had vivid memories of playing games in the streets, trying not to be seen by the people in his neighborhood including Mangan’s sister and particularly his uncle.

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The narrator was anxious for the moment he could attempt to win Mangan’s sisters heart over an extended period of time. Until this moment becomes a reality, the girl of his dreams will remain in his thoughts.

In the short story it also states, “One day the girl speaks to him–it is one of the few times they have ever exchanged a word–and asks him if he is going to Araby” (Harry 3).

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The narrator realizes that Mangan’s sister wants to attend a bazaar, but unfortunately she cannot solely because she already committed to, “Participate in a retreat” (Harry 3). The narrator decides, “If he goes he will bring her a gift” (Harry 3). When the narrator arrives at the Araby, “… he is disillusioned by its lawdriness and by a banal conversation he overhears, and he buys no gift” (Harry 3). This sudden realization causes the narrator to begin to think more like an adult. He realizes that, “must begin to free himself from the nets and trammels of society…The boy must dream “No more enchanted days.” (Harry 3).

Later on throughout the story, it is the day of the bazaar and the narrator’s uncle also plans to attend the bazaar as well. The uncle had made arrangements to return home early and pay the train fee. Hours pass by, and even a guest arrives and still there is no sign of the uncle. It is now 9pm and the narrator’s uncle returns home without the slightest memory of the previous plans that he had made. Unfortunately, all of the narrator’s luck was about to run out. The drunken uncle gives the narrator the money needed and the narrator leaves for the bazaar hoping that he arrives in time before they close. The only positive in his situation was that the trains were exceptionally fast. The narrator arrives to the bazaar, most stores at this hour had already closed down. After searching aimlessly, he finds a shop still open and proceeds to look for an appropriate gift to give to Mangan’s sister. After spending several minutes deciding on what to buy, he makes no purchase. This was because he felt unwanted by the female shopkeeper. Little time passes where he leaves the store and is left empty-handed. At this point, the narrator is filled with anger and frustration because he doesn’t have a gift for his crush, and also because he’s alone in a deserted desert.

The narrator is going through agany mentally and physically and emotionally. The narrator has a long term crush that he wishes to please. Unfortunately, he can’t gather up the courage after the amount of time that he’s known Mangan’s sister. The amount of stress that the narrator put on himself was drastically affecting the way he would think, and his mindset in general. When the narrator promised to give his crush a gift the bazaar that she wanted to attend, he couldn’t focus on anything. Although he temporarily forgot about the girl, he was stressing about what gift would be appropriate for her and what would symbolize his true feelings for the way he truly felt about her. The narrator’s plan on impressing the girl with his gift ultimately did not go as planned. He failed both his and her expectations entirely. Soon enough his dream of having the girl of his dreams become a curse that he wishes would be erased from his life. The narrator begins to have a change of heart regarding his desire for the woman he thought he loved dearly. It’s the epiphany of the story that verifies that he no longer wants to have the mind of a child, but to mature mentally and no longer dream of fairy tales. It seems that the bazaar incident was the last straw that forced the narrator to grow up and think as more of an adult than a child.

The narrator basically gives up his hopes on having Mangan’s sister. His hopes just become an unrealistic wishful thinking. What was meant to be a romantic, young, love story turned out to be the exact opposite. It became a tragic, hopeless story that ended in a way that very few would predict. Perhaps, had more events turned out in favor of the narrator, maybe things would’ve turned out better for both the narrator and Mangan’s sister. More importantly, maybe if the narrator’s uncle had shown up in time, and gave the narrator more options on what to buy for Mangan’s sister, or even more time, the narrator could’ve picked the right gift for the girl he desired for so long. Perhaps, the ending of this specific story would have had a more positive outcome, or at least Mangan’s sister would’ve have known how the narrator truly felt about her. Nevertheless, the Araby will always be the place where his hopes and dreams of having Mangan’s sister as a potential loved one.

Works Cited

  • “Dubliners Summary.” SparkNotes, SparkNotes, 2018,
  • Stone, Harry (American writer). “Araby” and the Writing of James Joyce. “ The antioch Review, Spring 2013, p. 348+. General Onefile, Accessed 12 Dec. 2018.

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Importance of Feeling in Story of Araby. (2021, Aug 10). Retrieved from

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