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Exile and Illusions In Araby James Joyce portrays his childhood as a dark hopeless and poverty stricken one Which would lead one to believe that this was how Joyce himself grew up which is somewhat true In fact Joyce was born into a fairly prosperous family of Irish merchants although like all Irish Catholics of the time the Joyces inherited a tradition of legal and cultural repressionBloom As time wore on the Anglo-Irish aristocracy took its toll on his familys wealth taking away all of his fathers land as well as his career This slide in social standing seemed to have discouraged Joyces creativity as symbolized in his short story Araby Joyce believed he was a victim of circumstance and saw his Irish homeland as a prison because of that circumstance Joyce s creativity was discouraged in a few different ways we will examine the two major culprits the church and religious symbolism as well as the social restrictions he had to contend with First let us discuss the religious symbolism implied throughout the story In the opening paragraphs Joyce talks about the Priest whom had died where the narrator himself now lives The home where the narrator had found a smut book as well as the Priests will and paperwork of charitable contributions since when does a Priest make enough money to have an extensive will wonders the narrator I also believe the Araby bazaar was a symbol of the church as Cleanth Brooks stated in Understanding Fiction 1947 The quest for the father for the church has been thwarted by reality The bazaar turns out to be just as cold as dark and as man-made as the gloomy house of the dead priest on his own streetFitzgerald The dreary and sordid life Joyce recollects does not only comes from his religious disappointments but also from his social shortcomings as well Joyce felt that he was a marginal man a victim of circumstances The
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