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JOHN UPDIKES A P AND JAMES JOYCES ARABYJohn Updikes A P and James Joyces Arabyshare many of the same literary traits Theprimary focus of the two stories revolves around ayoung man who is compelled to decipher thedifferent between cruel reality and the fantasiesof romance that play in his head That the mandoes indeed discover the difference is what setshim off into emotional collapse One of the mainsimilarities between the two stories is the factthat the main character who is also theprotagonist has built up incredibleyetunrealistic expectations of women having focusedupon one in particular towards which he places allhis unrequited affection The expectation thesemen hold when finally face to face with theirobject of worship Wells 1993 p 127 is whatsends the final and crushing blow of reality Therejection they suffer is far too great for them toUpdike is famous for taking other authorsworks and twisting them so that they reflect a morecontemporary flavor While the story remains thesame the climate is singular only to Updike Thisis the reason why there are similarities as well asdeviations from Joyces original piece Plottheme and detail are three of the most resemblingaspects of the two stories over all other literarycomponents characteristic of both writers workseach rendition offers its own unique perspectiveupon the young mans romantic infatuation Notonly are descriptive phrases shared by bothstories but parallels occur with each ending aswell Doloff 113 What is even more telling ofUpdikes imitation of Joyces Araby is the factthat the A P title is hauntingly close inpronunciation to the original storys titleThe theme of A P and Araby are so close toeach other that the subtle differences might besomewhat imperceptible to the untrained eye Bothstories delve into the unstable psyche of a youngman who is faced with one of lifes most difficultlessons that things are not always as they appearto be Telling the tale as a way of looking backon his life the protagonist allows the reader tofollow his lifes
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