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Compare and contrast Joyce’s ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’

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Joyce’s ‘Eveline’ is a story about a young woman who was unhappy with her life so decides to run off with a man whom she fell in love with. The plot of the story is a quest-like search for the love she doesn’t feel with her father. The writer spreads this throughout the story, showing the depth of Eveline’s character and her problems that come mainly from her father and all that arise from their relationship. The best moment in ‘Eveline’ only comes after the long flashbacks into Eveline’s life end, where the time finally comes for her to leave her past life behind and join Frank in Buenos Ayres. Eveline is torn between her desire to leave, and the thought of her future husband. The conflict between Eveline’s decision to leave and her desires to stay shows only at the end when she is frozen with paralysis and the story ends on this, “She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition.”

‘Araby’ is a story about a boy whose life revolves around Mangans sister. To develop the plot of the story, Joyce uses some of the boy’s background information, the setting, and why the boy is in love with the girl to help the story unfold. Things start to become difficult at the point where the boy finally talks to Mangan’s sister. She asks him whether or not he was going to the bazaar and at the end of that conversation he answers by telling her that if he’s going to the bazaar he’ll bring he something. For the best moment of the story, the boy finally goes to the bazaar, but instead of it being one huge ordeal, the bazaar turns out to be quite small, due to the fact that the boy arrived there when most of the stalls were closed.

The end of the story comes near when the boy tells the storekeeper that he isn’t there to buy any of her things and the boy realizes that he had pushed his family deeper into poverty by taking all the money they had over a girl. “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.” The writer uses the different parts of the plot to control our responses such as it being like a quest as he battled his way through the streets and came all the way to the bazaar when it turned out to be a small place that wasn’t worth all the fuss that he gave to it in the earlier parts of the story. He is also paralyzed in the moment, unlike Eveline; she was paralyzed because of the thought of her father, yet the boy is paralyzed by anger.

The similarities between Joyce’s ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’ characters are, for example the boy’s uncle and Evelines father. In ‘Araby’, the boy’s uncle is a sad depressed man who longs for nothing but happiness for his nephew and gives him all he has to show love for him. As the boys uncle is not his father he cannot stop the boy from going to the bazaar, but tries to delay him all the same. “Cant you give him the money and let him go? You’ve kept him late enough as it is”. Where as in ‘Eveline’, her father does the exact opposite and makes her give all she has instead of giving her all he has. Yet, there is a similarity. Both the boy and Eveline are poverty struck and both of their families, though one shows it more than the other, care very much for them.

Both stories: ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’ have a similar plot line. In contrast to this, both the boy and Eveline show that there life as one big struggle to please people. Eveline tries to please both her dead mother and drunken father. The boy in ‘Araby’ tries to please Mangans sister with empty promises about souvenirs from the bazaar. Joyce uses similar language in both stories. People in both ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’ to either explain a point or to emphasize it use exclamation marks. Examples include, “O, I never said such a thing!” (Araby p35) and “Damned Italians! Coming over here!” The writer uses punctuation like these very effectively as it makes the person in the story say things with immense power.

The write also uses poetic techniques that work well with the story. In addition to this, the write defuses it into the story and adds a natural feel making us aware that his language is real. Such examples of his poetic technique are in ‘Araby’ about the boy’s passionate, uncontrollable feelings for the girl. “My body was like a harp,” he says, ” and her words and gestured were like fingers running upon the wires.” In ‘Eveline’, much can be said in the way of poetic jesters, as for the example I have stated, “My body was like a harp”, yet in ‘Eveline’, the writer describes her as if someone else was controlling her, and that she wasn’t the master of her mind or body, yet another example of a poetic technique is ” Yellowing photograph”, making it seem old, dieing and lifeless as the person in the picture was, also ironic. Personification is also an aspect of both stories.

In ‘Araby’, examples of personification are: “Brown imperturbable faces”. To me it means that the houses are actually people with faces and that paralysis is hinted here as the houses are still, meaning the faces are also. Another example in ‘Araby’ is: “When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped”. This meaning his heart leaped (figure of speech) giving his heart movement when it shouldn’t be jumping. In ‘Eveline’ such examples of personification are hard to notice. Lastly, rhetorical questions are used in both ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’. Examples of this are more clear in ‘Eveline’ than in ‘Araby’: “Why should she be unhappy?” and “Could she still draw back after everything he had ever done for her?” These are the questions that the writer asks for us in the 3rd person perspective.

The writer is effective in both ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’, yet my final point is on the similarities of both ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’s’ themes. The themes in both ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’ are paralysis and love. In ‘Araby’ love is a big theme as the boy shows love to Mangans sister, even though his love will never be returned. The story of ‘Araby’ is told in a 1st person perspective. Therefore meaning that the boy tells the story from how he sees and feels it, yet his deepest thoughts are given along with his feelings, something that no other narrator would be able to accomplish. His love for Mangans sister will never be returned and we know this because of her actions towards him and her need to use him for things she can’t get herself. “Turning a silver bracelet round and round her wrist”. This could possibly be another present from a boy who liked her all the same and couldn’t have her. The theme pops up into everything because of the influence she has on him, his school work, “I answered few questions in class”, his sleep and the fact he went all the way to the bazaar for her with little to spend.

Paralysis is also a major theme because the theme of ‘Araby’ is given through the boy’s last line, and through the disappointment of the bazaar making him frozen to the spot. The theme that Joyce gives the reader is that not only that you have to experience things for yourself, but that you shouldn’t be driven by a vain urge, such as what the boy was driven to, an urge to buy a present for the girl. Jointly in ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’ religion is also a big theme seeing as prayer is needed for people in those days because of poverty and war. We know that religion is a major theme in ‘Araby’ because of some descriptions the boy uses to describe Mangans sister. ” Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises”. Furthermore, she herself belongs to a convent, which is ironic as she doesn’t act a bit holy and the boy’s family is holy. “Because she said there would be a retreat that week in her convent”.

In ‘Eveline’, holy pictures are placed around the walls, yet are not taken very good care of. “Yet during all those years she had never found out the name of the priest whose yellowing picture hung on the wall”. In ‘Eveline’ the themes are also quite similar. Love drove her to stay and love drove her to want to go. Then adding to the theme of love, paralysis is mixed in as she is frozen to the spot at the thought of leaving her dead mothers memory and the thought of going with Frank, so she stays in the middle and is guilty for ever. Eveline’s theme is one that shows how people respond to change. The entire flashback section of the story shows why Eveline desires a change, and the later part of the story shows her reactions to it. By Eveline’s response, freezing and acting like an “helpless animal” shows that Joyce believes that human beings are completely against change, which is true, and that change comes too quickly that those who it affects will not know how to handle the change.

In conclusion, the write effectively picks up on the themes, characters and language and put them effectively into the stories. However, in contrast with this, both stories, ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’ are the same, but yet different. The writer, however effective he is, still leaves us thinking ‘are the stories similar of different’ and this is a gift that not many writers have or could, so yes, the writer is very effective in both stories, and I guess that this leaves us in a state of paralysis also.

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