James Joyce (1882-1941). James Joyce: Introduction. James Joyce is one of the most innovative novelists of the 20 th century and one of the great masters of “the stream of consciousness”. a leading modernist, and one of the greatest innovators in the English language.
James Joyce: Introduction
Irish novelist and poet
born in 1882 in Dublin, the son of a poverty-stricken civil servant.
In 1898, studied in Dublin’s University College
and graduated in 1902
Raised in the Roman Catholic faith, he broke with the church while he was in college
In 1904 he left Dublin with Nora Barnacle, a chambermaid whom he eventually married. They and their two children lived in Trieste, Italy, in Paris, and in Zürich, Switzerland, meagerly supported by Joyce's jobs as a language instructor and by gifts from patrons. After 20 years in Paris, early in World War II, when the Germans invaded France, Joyce moved to Zürich, where he died on January 13, 1941
James Joyce’s first major work was Dubliners, a collection of fifteen short stories dealing successively with events of childhood, youth and adulthood. As the title indicated, Joyce made Ireland the focus of his stories.
Although all set in Dublin and focused upon the themes of death, disease and paralysis throughout, Dubliners is a collection of short stories only interconnected by symbols and moods. They are not as bleak as their themes suggest, at least not in all cases, and are often heartening in their subtle evocations ofexperience common to all.
These stories contain no melodramatic conflict; instead , they present those quiet moments in the characters’ lives when they come to a sudden realization of the meaning of their existence (anepiphany).
"Araby'' is one of fifteen short stories that together make up James Joyce's collection, Dubliners. It is the last story of the first set, and is told from the perspective of a boy just on the verge of adolescence. The story takes its title from a real festival which came to Dublin in 1894 when Joyce was twelve years old.
Araby is a story about a boy who wants to buy something for the angel in his heart . He looks forward to the coming of the bazaar.Unfortunately he misses the time for lack of money.He stands in the hall facing the brilliantly-light when he suddenly realizes he himself is only a pitiful creature.
1. The setting & the language
The uninhabited house
The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them ,gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.
The former tenant of our house, a priest , had died in the back drawing-room.
Among these I found a few paper-covered books :The Abbot ,by Walter Scott,The Devout Communicant and The Memoirs of Vidocq.
I like the last best because its leaves were yellow.
The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple—tree and a few straggling bushes .
He had been a very charitable priest; in his will he had left all his money to institutions and the furniture of his house to his sister.
To the back doors of the dark dripping gardens where odors arose from the ashpits, to the dark odorous stables where a coachman smoothed and combed the horse or shook music from the buckled harness
Or if Mangan’s sister came out on the doorstep to call her brother in to his tea we watch her from our shadow peer up and down the street.
She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door.I stood by the railings looking at her. Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side
1. The setting & the language
What kind of environment the boy is in?
2. The characters& the language
true-life , but also can realize the
writer’s sympathy to this poor boy.
3. The plot
4. The trip to Araby (the bazaar)
I held a florin tightly in my hand as I strode down Buckingham Street towards the station.
It crept onward among ruinous houses and over the twinkling rivers .
In a few minutes the train drew up beside an improvised wooden platform
I passed out on to the road and saw by the lighted dial of a clock that it was ten minutes to ten
Two man were counting money on a salver, I listened to the fall of the coins.
I turned away slowly and walked down the middle of the bazaar.I allowed the two pennies to fall against the sixpence in my pocket.I heard a voice call from one end of the gallery that the light was out.The upper part of the hall was now completely dark .
Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity；and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.
Before now, he always had a dream that he would go to the Araby and buy a present for his loved girl, but the reality broke him up again. He felt so puzzled. At the same time, we can see through his eyes that he woke his spirit up and knew clearly his foolish behavior.
the boy's outlook is severely limited. He is ignorant and therefore innocent. Lonely, imaginative, and isolated, he lacks the understanding necessary for evaluation and perspective. He is at first as blind as his world, but Joyce prepares us for his eventual perceptive awakening by tempering his blindness with an unconscious rejection of the spiritual stagnation of his world.
The little boy considers Araby as a romantic and hopeful place. However, at that time, Dublin is a dark and dirty society, which is opposite to the little boy’s ideal. It is a very important place in this whole novel. Such a society indicates the failure of his pursuit of dream.
But the bazaar is dirty and disappointing.It is closing and the hall is "in darkness." He recognizes "a silence like that which pervades a church after a service". A young lady, bored with him and interested in two men who are flirting with her, cheapens and destroys the boy's sense of an "Eastern enchantment.“
In a sudden flash of insight the boy sees that his faith and his passion have been blind. In this moment of disillusionment he feels that he himself is at fault for being so bemused by his ideals that he failed completely to see the world as it is. Understandably his disillusionment causes him "anguish and anger."
"Araby" is a story of first love; even more, it is a portrait of a world that defies the ideal and the dream. Thus setting in this story becomes the true subject, embodying an atmosphere of spiritual paralysis against which a young boy's idealistic dreams are no match. He discovered the discrepancy between the real and the ideal in life.Realizing this, the boy takes his first step into adulthood.