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Araby And Eveline (Similarities In Theme & Plot)

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Eveline and Araby Both Eveline and Araby were well written short stories by James Joyce. Reading these two stories without performing any analysis or study, it would be improbable to notice their similarities considering they embody abstruse and obscure symbols within their settings and situations. But after meticulous study, the similarities in their themes and plot become clear and apparent.

Eveline and Araby share the same theme, which is knowing the distinctions between the real and the ideal can be momentous in life. Not knowing this distinction will create confusion and conflict in life as it did for Eveline and the boy. For Eveline, it nearly took her down the wrong path in life with Frank. For the boy, it had created isolation for him and nearly took him down the wrong path in life with false dreams and love for Mangan’s sister.

There are bountiful similarities between the plots of Eveline and Araby. They both have significant patterns in their sequence of actions. One point or another before the climatic moment, the protagonist’s situation was revealed. In Eveline, she was in a situation torn between two worlds and was in need of guidance by “God”. She was in a state of confusion and needed him “to direct her” and help her choose which road to take. In Araby, the boy was also in a situation torn between what was real and ideal and he needed guidance in the “blind” world around him. Since he was in a state of isolation, it made him more vulnerable to confusion. Like Eveline, he wasn’t able to receive the guidance that he needed. For instance, the boy was living in a home which the former tenant was a dead priest, there were books that were old, and there was a bicycle that was rusting.

They all symbolize that intelligence and religious capacity for continuation to live a meaningful life, are all gone and had past. He was positioned in a neighborhood of decomposition and spiritual loss. Both stories also similarly reveal the protagonist’s hidden cause of confusion (also known as the central conflict). Eveline was too focused on the boring and horrible aspects of her life, that she got confused and filled her mind with goals to live an ideal life with Frank. In Araby, the boy creates dreams about being with Mangan’s sister which reveals that he too, just like Eveline, was too focused on wanting an ideal life with who he desired. He was confused and had set a goal to buy material things for Mangan’s sister hoping to gain her love. Thus, Eveline’s distaste and abandonment of her reality and lean toward Frank shows her confusion, and the boy’s isolation from his reality and lean toward Mangan’s sister shows his confusion. Eveline and Araby have similar climatic moments that occur near the end of the story.

The climatic moment in Eveline was when she reached the docks and she realized that her known duties and asperities are more preferable than unknown possibilities. The climatic moment in Araby was when the boy reached the bazaar and realized it’s gaudy superficiality, which led him to realize that he also had false love for the girl. Both stories have similar conclusions and resolutions. Both Eveline and the boy realized that their dreams and goals were too unrealistic and false for them to continue to think or dream about. They were finally both awakened at what their realities were and chose the realistic path take in life. > > Bibliography > James Joyce’s “Araby”: Summary of an Epiphany  “Eveline” by James Joyce

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