Sunday, 29 May 2016

BSc BA English Notes Short Stories Araby (James Joyce) Summary and Questions Answers

BSc BA English Notes Short Stories Araby (James Joyce) Summary and Questions Answers


The story “Araby” conveys the idea that the personal feelings of a person and the real world are two different things. First, we do not understand this difference but when we come to understand that, we are disillusioned. Then we are sad.
The narrator of the story is a schoolboy and lives with his uncle. He plays with his companions in the street until dusk and then they return their homes.
Mangan is his playmate. He falls in love with his sister. However, he cannot express his love to her. He keeps looking at her from a distance. He keeps on thinking about her all the time. Her image is always before his eyes. He is very intense in his love. Tears fill his eyes but he does not know why.
Once she talks to him and asks him to go to Araby. Araby is a bazaar. He promises that he will bring something for her if he goes there. Now going to Araby becomes his business. He takes permission to go. He waits for the appointed day impatiently. Now everything appears to him unimportant and a child’s play.
On the appointed day, he leaves for Araby very late with a very little money. He goes to a shop, looks at things. However, he cannot buy anything because of his little money.  He repents on his promise and his eyes burn with anger and anguish.

Question Answers

Story in Outline

Araby was a sort of bazar. The writer visited it when he was a small schoolboy. His visit was a labour of love. He was asked by his beloved to visit the Araby. He was too small to be a lover, but he fell in love all the same. The girl was his friend Mangan?s sister. He loved her madly. Her word was more than a law for him. So he went to Araby just because she wished him to do so. He was late because he had to wait for his uncle to get some money. When he reached there the bazar had almost closed. Only a Chinaware stall was open. The boy stopped. The sales girl asked him if he wanted to buy anything. He said, no, he did not need anything. He had a strange feeling of frustration as he came out. He was too young, to understand that feeling.
The boy's visit to Araby was fruitless just like his childish love affair. He undertook this visit as a sacred duty. He only wished to please the girl without thinking of any other reward for his pains. He also wished to buy something nice for her. But he was too small to decide what he should buy for her. In his confusion he could not make any choice. So he came back frustrated. Still he was not angry with the girl who had sent him out on this useless errand. He is rather angry at his own adequacy.( )

The Boy's Love

The boy's love for the girl was not a proper love affair between a young man and a girl. The boy was too young for that. His love was just childish infatuation( ); a silent adoration. He was too timid to express his love by word or deed. He just looked at the girl whenever he had a chance. He felt small and foolish in her presence. Therefore he could never make his feelings known to her. He could never tell her how much he loved her. Sometimes he followed her along the street quietly and at a respectful distance, without a word between them. Sometimes he peeped at her from an upstairs window of his house, lying flat on the floor to avoid being seen. Sometimes he broke out into passionate expression like “O?Love, O?Love”, but he could never say these words in her presence. In short his love was just a childish, foolish, one-sided affair. It only made him suffer, still he could not give it up.
This kind of love is quite common in the process of growth from childhood to youth. This period of physical and emotional growth is called puberty. During this period the sensitive and imaginative child develops a deep attachment to one of the young people around him or her. Some students fall in this kind of love with their teachers. This kind of emotional attachment is sincere but transitory in nature. it Passes off as the child steps into youth.

The Title of the Story

Araby, the title of the story, is an apt choice. It applies to the story perfectly. Actually Araby is the name of a bazar. The hero of the story visits this bazar on the request of his beloved. He arrives late. The bazar is closed. Only a china ware shop is open. But the boy cannot buy anything. He forgets what he needs. He is disappointed with his visit to the bazar. He has undertaken this visit only as a labour of love. but now he realizes it was a labour lost, for it did not help him in his love affair in any way. His fruitless visit to Araby is like his fruitless love. it does not make him happy. His frustration at the end of the visit reflects his unhappy experience of love. his love affair is just like his visit to Araby.
The meaning of the title expands beyond the story. On the larger scale we may compare the world to the bazar Araby. Man?s life, an everlasting search for peace and love, is like the boy?s visit to Araby. The boy never knew what could bring him solid happiness and satisfaction. He keeps running after one pleasure or another. But every pleasure results in further search and struggle. Only by good luck a man may have what he really needs. Thus the title of the story sums up within it the whole story of human life, including the tragic end.

Written by: Asad Hussain

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