James Joyce Araby
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1067
- Category: Life
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Archetypal Analysis of “Araby” by James Joyce James Joyce the author of “Araby” is a writer that does not write his stories in a traditional way. “Araby” is a story about the narrator; a young boy who fall in love and though very poor or from a poor background tries to impress the girl he has crushes on; unfortunately, things did up the way he thought it would. From an Archetypal point of view, we can say that the story is about the narrator discover the realities of life and how he dealt with them. Throughout the story, we see many different archetypes that help the hero on his journey for the instar Mangan’s sister whom I would call the Siren, the Wise Old Man, and the Mother. The Hero goes on a Quest after he fell in love with the Siren and became her poppet; she remote control him and unfortunately for him he learns life’s harsh realities.
Each of these characters plays a crucial role in characters’ lesson of life. Mangan’s sister has seduced the hero of the hero of the story and for this reason no day go by without him thinking about her. She plays the role of the Siren who uses the Hero as her puppet. She is everywhere in his thoughts for instance “Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance” even when he is out with his Aunt at the market surrounded people, he just cannot stop thinking of her. Whether it is purposeful or not, Mangan sister is the Siren; she ends up sending the Narrator on his journey of truth by just saying few words, “It would be a splendid bazaar, she said she would love to go.” In every story, we always have that person who is smarter that everyone calls the wizard or the brain in the story. In Araby, the only person that can fit that description would be the wise old man who’s the narrator uncle who knows a lot and even speak in riddles.
Though it was a little bit strange, he seemed to know why the Narrator wanted to go to the bazaar and though not explicitly stated in the story he does not want him to go on this errand. A first, when I was reading the story, I did not get it right there because as the Uncle came home late on the night the Narrator wanted to go to the bazaar, making him late; He does eventually said something in an attempt to discourage him from going to the bazaar by saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” in his own way, I believe he was apologizing. The Uncle sympathizes with the Narrator even apologizes but still seems to understand more than he is letting on when he asks the Narrator if he knew The Arab’s Farewell to His Steed a poem. The poem is written by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton, and it tells the story about an Arab who sells his horse and he says goodbye to it to only go back and purchase the horse back, this is a prophesy that the Narrator was going to get nothing done on this errand he so badly wanted to go on and will only return with what he had, to begin with. Although the Uncle as portrayed in the story comes off as indifferent, he truthfully does care about the Narrator and attempts to warn him about the fool’s errand he is trying to go on showing how he is the all-knowing Wise Old Man or wizard of the story.
Though the Narrator has no mother in the story, he still has a Mother figure in the form of his Aunt. Like to most mothers, the text states that she would take him with her to the market with her to do her shopping, this show the mother-son relationship as she does care about him and wants him to go out and discover the world. When the Uncle comes home late and keeps asking him questions, she says ‘Can’t you give him the money and let him go? You’ve kept him late enough as it is.’ This could be seen as a support from his mother that gave him wings and courage to go out on his fool’s errand, so whether it helped him or not she did have his best interest at heart. Being a man has never been an easy situation for young boys and it comes a times when they would grow their wings and fly on their own. Journey’s and quests can be representative of coming of age and learning the truth about life. In some stories, the Hero end up saving his people or a treasure or a key to immortality.
Unfortunately, in “Araby” by James Joyce it is a different kind of story, instead, the Hero discovers how harsh life is and decides to cry about it out of frustration. The Quest that the Narrator is sent on is more of a fool’s errand as he completes nothing and does not do what he was set out to do. He discovers that his financial status is ridiculous compare to others and that life is not all sunshine and rainbows. Astoundingly he comprehends that he was driven by vanity stating as the end “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 Quest was nothing but a waste of time for the Hero and instead he learned how the world works at a young age.
Every character plays an important part in the Narrator’s journey of self-discovery. Mangan’s Sister is the Siren who leads the Hero; who is the Narrator astray, the Wise Old Man Is the Uncle who tries and warns the Hero of what really is going to happen, and the Mother Figure who is the Aunt that truly does want the best for him and unintentionally helps send him off on his fool’s errand. It is similar to a coming of age for him as he learns how harsh and unforgiving life is. Looking at “Araby” in this format brings some light to what Joyce was trying to write. Life is not a fairytale it is vain and unforgiving if you are blinded by in you will eventually discover the harsh truths.