Innocence In James Joyce's Araby And Eveline

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Love is a common theme among artists, who all define it differently. James Joyce defines love’s power in his collection of short stories: The Dubliners. Throughout Joyce’s short stories “Araby” and “Eveline,” Joyce uses literary devices to show love causes innocence to become ignorance. The unnamed narrator’s innocence shows throughout his attempts to impress his crush and transition into the adult world. Joyce characterizes the narrator before meeting his crush as optimistic when “The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed” (16). The lively diction and imagery, which symbolizes childhood innocence, contrasts the bitter diction, which symbolizes the adult world. Once he mentions his crush, the narrator becomes self-conscious,…show more content…
The narrator describes the world around using the houses, which “conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces” (16). The narrator uses decaying diction to describe the personified houses because, although alive, they are not lively, which symbolizes the journey from youth to the adult world. His crush is his starting path to adulthood. When the girl becomes a dream to the narrator, he says, “Her image accompanied me even in places most hostile to romance” (16). He contrasts the hostile adult world with his romantic youth, which shows his ignorance because his love does not matter. The ideal image of the girl trances him so much he acts as if love will conquer all. He imagines, “my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running along the wires” (17) and “I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes”(16). The simile suggests the girl actually controls him and then he is willing to do whatever she needs; therefore, he will protect the chalice, a symbol of their love, against the foes, a symbol of the adult world, but this is all a fantasy because he cannot protect his innocence. He continues trying to hide from the adult world as his senses seem “to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them” (17). The narrator personifies his senses because his innocence is innate, but as he transitions into the adult world he travels into the unknown. As he…show more content…
Her father was not so bad” (20). The passive tense creates an unsure tone, which shows her ignorance because she is so innocent she tries to convince herself against actuality. She continually tries to convince herself life with her father is manageable, but it is not. Eveline works so much, but has to deal with paternal and financial issues because her father says, “she used to squander the money, that she had no head, that he wasn’t going to give her his hard-earned money to throw about the streets” (21) which “had begun to weary her unspeakably” (20). She does not accept her life at home is sad, even if she has to deal with chaos which she cannot even describe. Her father’s condescending tone enhances Eveline’s need for protection because she cannot do things on her own. She uses a double negative to describe her life as not “a wholly undesirable life” (21), which also shows her ignorance because she does not accept reality. She makes a promise to her mother, when she was a child “to keep the home together as long as she could,” (21) but she cannot do it anymore. Once she meets Frank, she knows, “Frank would save her... He would save her” (22). Eveline repeats the same phrase because she wants it to be reality, even though it is not. Sadly, her fantasy of Frank also disappoints her through the dark imagery and

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