Consequences Of Children In An Encounter's 'Araby'

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"Araby" is about a somewhat introverted boy fumbling toward adulthood with little in the way of guidance from family or community. The truants in "An Encounter" managed to play hooky from school without any major consequences; no one prevented them from journeying across town on a weekday or even asked the boys where they were going. Similarly, the young protagonist of this story leaves his house after nine o 'clock at night, when "people are in bed and after their first sleep," and travels through the city in darkness with the assent of his guardians. Like the main character in "The Sisters," this boy lives not with his parents but with an aunt and uncle, the latter of whom is certainly good-natured but seems to have a drinking problem. When the man returns home, he is talking to himself and he almost knocks over the coat rack. He has forgotten about his promise to the boy, and when reminded of it — twice — he becomes distracted by the connection between the name of the bazaar and the title of a poem he knows. The boy 's aunt is so passive that her presence proves inconsequential. Like "An Encounter," "Araby" takes the…show more content…
Some critics have suggested that Mangan 's sister represents Ireland itself, and that therefore the boy 's quest is made on behalf of his native country. Certainly, the bazaar seems to combine elements of the Catholic Church and England (the two entities that Joyce blamed most for his country 's paralysis), just as Father Flynn 's death did in "The Sisters." As the church has hypnotized its adherents, Araby has "cast an Eastern enchantment" over the boy. Moreover, it is "not some Freemason [Protestant] affair." Church parishes often organized bazaars to raise money for charity. When the boy reaches the object of his quest, however, Araby (the church) is empty — except for a woman and two men who speak with English accents. The woman speaks to the story 's main character in a manner that is "not encouraging" and is clearly doing so "out of a sense
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