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Word Count: 863
Convinced that the Dublin of the 1900s was a center of spiri-tual paralysis James Joyce loosely but thematically tied together hisstories in Dubliners by means of their common setting Each of thestories consists of a portrait in which Dublin contributes in some wayto the dehumanizing experience of modem life The boy in the storyAraby is intensely subject to the citys dark hopeless conformityand his tragic yearning toward the exotic in the face of drab uglyreality forms the center of the story On its simplest level Araby is a story about a boys first loveOn a deeper level however it is a story about the world in which helives-a world inimical to ideals and dreams This deeper level is in-troduced and developed in several scenes the opening description ofthe boys street his house his relationship to his aunt and uncle theinformation about the priest and his belongings the boys two trips-his walks through Dublin shopping and his subsequent ride toAraby North Richmond Street is described metaphorically and presentsthe reader with his first view of the boys world The street is blind it is a dead end yet its inhabitants are smugly complacent the housesreflect the attitudes of their inhabitants The houses are imperturba-ble in the quiet the cold the dark muddy lanes and darkdripping gardens The first use of situational irony is introducedhere because anyone who is aware who is not spiritually blinded orasleep would feel oppressed and endangered by North RichmondStreet The people who live there represented by the boys aunt anduncle are not threatened however but are falsely pious and dis-creetly but deeply self-satisfied Their prejudice is dramatized by theaunts hopes that Araby the bazaar the boy wants to visit is not14some Freemason affair and by old Mrs Mercers gossiping overtea while collecting stamps for some pious purpose The background or world of blindness extends from a generalview of the street and its inhabitants to the boys personal relation-ships It is
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