Araby. James Joyce. Dubliners. Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce , first published in 1914. They form a naturalistic depiction of Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century.
The stories were written when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They centre on Joyce\'s idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character experiences self-understanding or illumination. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce\'s novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by child protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce\'s tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence and maturity.
In Dubliners Joyce rarely uses hyperbole, relying on simplicity and close detail to create a realistic setting. This ties the reader\'s understanding of people to their environments. He does not tell readers what to think, rather they are left to come to their own conclusions. This is even more evident when contrasted with the moral judgements displayed by earlier writers such as Charles Dickens. This frequently leads to a lack of traditional dramatic resolution within the stories.
Ugh first-person narration, the reader is immersed at the start of the story in the drab life that people live on North Richmond Street, which seems to be illuminated only by the verve and imagination of the children who, despite the growing darkness that comes during the winter months, insist on playing "until [their] bodies glowed." Even though the conditions of this neighbourhood leave much to be desired, the children’s play is infused with their almost magical way of perceiving the world, which the narrator dutifully conveys to the reader.
With the obsession established, the story then moves to how the narrator might act on that obsession, how he might obtain this young girl. One night, he meets her on the doorstep of her home. She asks whether he\'s attending the following Saturday\'s bazaar (the name of the bazaar is \'Araby\'), and expresses her own wish to go, but says, regretfully, she must attend an event for her convent. There is no indication that the narrator, before this moment, intended to go to the bazaar, or was even aware of it, but at that moment he decides he will go, and tells Mangan\'s sister that he will bring her back a gift from it.
The rest of the story, then, is the narrator\'s attempt to obtain that gift for Mangan\'s sister. In fact, his obsession with the girl herself transfers to an obsession with the gift, and with the bazaar where he\'ll find the gift, so that for the days leading up the bazaar he can think of nothing but getting there. He begins to ignore his schoolwork, is unable to sit still.
Unfortunately, when the day of the bazaar arrives, the narrator\'s uncle (who was supposed to give him money for the gift), forgets his obligation and arrives home late from work. As a result, the narrator sets out too late. By the time he arrives at the bazaar, \'nearly all the stalls [are] closed and the greater part of the hall [is] in darkness.\' He describes the empty place as having \'a silence like that which pervades a church after a service.
While he does find an open stall, any wares that he would buy seem uninviting, or else intimidating (all we know is that he chooses not to buy them). The story ends with the lights in the hall turning off, and with the narrator \'gazing up into the darkness and [seeing himself] as a creature driven and derided by vanity…[his] eyes [burning] with anguish and anger.\'