From Fantasy To Reality In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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From Fantasy to Reality: A Circle of Disappointment

Almost everyone has wanted to believe something so badly that they convince themselves it is true. The fantasy people create makes them happy for awhile but eventually it falls apart and gives way to reality, and this reality is often a great disappointment. The Younger family in Lorraine Hansberry’s award-winning play, A Raisin in the Sun, experience such a fall from fantasy to reality as does the narrator in James Joyce’s short story, “Araby.” Finally, a whole town has a similar experience in Edward Arlington Robinson’s poem “Richard Cory.” While the intended themes and authors’ purposes of these three famous literary works may not be the same, one overarching theme does connect them: …show more content…

The short story, “Araby,” was written in 1905 by Irish author James Joyce. It was later published in 1914 in a collection entitled The Dubliners which included fifteen stories portraying the life of the Irish middle class in and around Dublin in the early 1900s (Gray). “Araby” is a young boy’s narration of his fascination with his friend 's older sister. He takes every opportunity to watch her from his own house, and “When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books and followed her” (Joyce 1). He has an extreme obsession with her which today would be called stalking. He dreams what it would be like to actually talk to her. Finally one evening she speaks to him in a backroom of his house, asking if he is going to a bazaar in Araby to which she cannot go. He answers that he will go and bring her something from it. Thus, starts the boy’s fantasy of romance and escape from his unromantic and unfulfilling life. Some have criticized the intensity of Joyce’s words at the end of the story when things do not turn out as the boy had planned. They question why the boy would react so strongly to such a trivial disappointment of not being able to get the girl a gift as he had promised. It is just this strong reaction that indicates the correct interpretation of the boy’s conversation with the girl: it is all in his imagination. This would explain how the girl just appears in the room. No description of her entering or leaving is given. The girl “might just as well have materialized out of thin air for all Joyce tells us” (Brugaletta 13). Another clue that this conversation is just a vision, is when the boy says, “I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves...feeling that I was about to slip from them…”(Joyce 2). In other words, he has left his senses behind

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