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This paper explains that, through symbolism, Joyce conveys central themes of symbolic blindness, escapism, and a lack of identity. The opening line of the tale describes North Richmond Street as "being blind," as if the street itself has the potential to see itself and its residents. The author points out that death and religion are closely linked in "Araby"; religion is portrayed as a form of escapism, as a link to another world. The paper relates that, in "Araby," which is filled with imagery related to sight and eyes, the narrator sees more with his inner eye, the eye of his dreams and imagination, than he does with his real eyes; thus, he is blind to the present moment and sees only what he wants to see until the end of the tale, when his narcissism finally dawns on him.
From the Paper:"The dead priest and Mangan's sister both represent exoticism and esotericism. The priest is exotic because he is dead and because in his life he served as an intermediary between this world and the spiritual world. To the narrator, the priest must have been privy to wisdom and knowledge that the average person like him is not. Likewise, the narrator imagines that Mangan's sister is privy to esoteric wisdom. Her sexuality also represents this esoteric and mysterious wisdom. "Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side," (30). Convey the connection between sexuality and esoterism, Joyce uses the motif of blindness as well as the central theme of escape: "The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen." Here, Joyce also includes a double entendre, which is often used in conjunction with sexual innuendo."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
"Araby" (2005, May 22) Retrieved December 06, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/araby-58818/
""Araby"" 22 May 2005. Web. 06 December. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/araby-58818/>