50 pages 1 hour read

James Joyce


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1914

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Story Analysis

Analysis: “Araby”

The narrator and protagonist of “Araby” leaves a great deal unsaid, including his own name and the name of the girl he supposedly loved. Even the fate of his parents passes unmentioned; the narrator lives with his aunt and uncle, which implies that his own parents are either dead or not present in his life. Absent or deceased parents are a feature of the Irish society depicted in Dubliners, though the narrator of “Araby” refrains from commenting on the society as a whole just as much as he refrains from commenting on many aspects of his own life.

The narrator does expand on the life of the priest who once lived in the house which belongs to his aunt and uncle. The old priest died and left behind possessions. The priest’s presence lingers in the house as a ghostly figure, most notably with his books and musty, lived-in odor, which suggests that the house has not yet shed itself of its past. The narrator is more fascinated by the dead priest and his possessions than his own past, at least to the point that he is happy to dwell on the idea.