7 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2017
    1. Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

      James Joyce is known for is his use of epiphanies: "a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself" (Stone 371).

      The last line of "Araby" can be seen as the boy's epiphany. Leading up to this moment, Mangan's sister has consumed his mind, and he thought buying something for her from Araby would solve everything. Now that he finally made it to the bazaar, he is utterly disappointed.

      There are many interpretations about what the boy's epiphany actually is. Some scholars posit that the he relates to the men flirting with the sales woman: "The boy looks steadily at this vulgar avatar of his longings; and then his other vision—his vision of a comely waiting presence, of a heavenly dolorous lady—dissolves and finally evaporates. The boy, at last, glimpses reality unadorned; he no longer deceives himself with his usual romanticizing" (Stone 371). He is ultimately just like those two men, and Mangan's sister is just another girl.

      Another possible interpretation is that the boy's realization is a greater metaphor for the deterioration of Ireland's identity. He sees the French "Café Chantant". Moreover, while eavesdropping on the lady and the two men, the boy "remarked their English accents". Perhaps Ireland is not so Irish anymore.

      Yet another meaning could be that the boy is no longer a boy; he has transitioned out of the magical and imaginative world of being a child. The story begins with the boy telling us how he and his friends, "played till our bodies glowed". He then stops playing with his friends because he is infatuated with Mangan's sister: "From the front window I saw my companions playing below in the street". After he hears about Araby the boy has "hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child’s play, ugly monotonous child’s play". His whole outlook on life has rapidly changed. In an essay titled "Closing Time: 'ten minutes to ten' and the End of Childhood in Joyce's Araby'", Steven Doloff notes that the boy arrives at the bazaar at "ten minutes to ten": "While clock hands regularly meet twenty-four times during the course of a day, their particular occurrence at 9:50 P.M. at the end of 'Araby' may have a special contextual significance. Their juncture immediately precedes the boy's anguished self-revelation and what appears to be the near-simultaneous closing of the bazaar at ten o'clock. If we choose to see the longer minute hand of the clock as representing adulthood and the shorter one childhood, then 'ten minutes to ten' would symbolically portend the moment that adulthood overtakes the boy's childhood, eclipses it, and begins to leave it behind—a simple visual icon for a widely acknowledged theme in the story".

      These are just a few of many interpretations of the ending. Ezra Pound wrote that Joyce's "most engaging merit, is that he carefully avoids telling you a lot that you don't want to know".

      sources: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.jpllnet.sfsu.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=cb6a19bc-74ce-46ea-a40d-117795dd7dfb%40sessionmgr104



    2. Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free

      "Araby" is filled with religious allusions; religion was important in Ireland. This passage could be interpreted in a number of ways. In one sense, the boys being set "free" could mean that they are finally able to enjoy being kids. They are literally released from the rigid structure of school, and now they can do what boys do: play. Furthermore, Khorand observes that it is possible that the school "constrains and limits [the boys] so much more with it's didactic religious teachings".

      source: http://epiphany.ius.edu.ba/index.php/epiphany/article/view/109/106

    3. blind

      A street "being blind" means that it is a dead end. North Richmond Street also happens to be a dead end where one is not able to see around the corner (see picture in the annotation for "North Richmond Street"). Furthermore, Joyce's use of the word "blind" has been a topic of discussion among literary scholars. In an essay about symbolism in "Araby", Golbarg Khorand notes that "This blind street (repeated twice in the same paragraph) could be a symbol of the boy’s character that is literally blind due to his young age and immaturity". The blindness could also be connected to all of the people living on the street, or all Dubliners. Perhaps Joyce was even thinking about all the people who never venture out from the little corner of planet earth where they were born.

      source: http://epiphany.ius.edu.ba/index.php/epiphany/article/view/109/106

  2. blog.ashleyalexandraa.com blog.ashleyalexandraa.com
    1. Roosevelt

      Marshall Nunn states that "For Ruben, [Roosevelt] is the representative man of the United States...[and the poem details] The imperialistic attitude that Roosevelt took regarding the building of the Panama Canal" Here, Roosevelt is not only literally the leader of the United States, but also represents the same ideals the United States was founded on. Throughout the poem Dario no longer addresses Roosevelt, but rather addresses the United States as a whole. With the assumption that Roosevelt represents the greater collective beliefs of the United States.

    2. you oppose Tolstoy

      Another great contrast in the poem occurs when Dario alludes to Tolstoy. A Russian writer in many ways represents a great contrast to Roosevelt himself. Acereda suggests that in fact Tolstoy represents the a vastly different moral view than Roosevelt. Acereda suggests that in fact Tolstoy is an image for opposition against Roosevelt's "Big Stick" policy. Where Tolstoy was working to liberate and educate his people Roosevelt was living an alternate justice system.

      Comic illustrating Roosevelts "Big Stick" policy

    3. Liberty raises her torch in New York.

      Several people have determined that this poem suggests that Dario is harshly judging the United States for their involvement in imperialism and slavery throughout the world. Hal L. Ballew argues that "the torch held by our country's most famous landmark directs its light into the far corners of the world in order to search out the innocent and helpless so that they may be conquered and enslaved"

    4. verse of Walt Whitman

      According to Marshall Nunn Dario "far from admiring of his [Whitman] democratic ideals," With Dunn's information the inference then becomes that Dario believes the only way that the American people will understand his message through Walt Whitman's poetry. However, given the knowledge that Dario does not respect Whitman this line can be seen as an insult to the American people. Or in contrast, as Acereda states Dario can be speaking on the American people's terms, Whitman being a classic American poet, in a desperate attempt to communicate a message to them. )