Criteria for a short story should focus on the characters and their relations with each other, conflicts that occur throughout the story, and a controversial theme. Each of these is beneficial for a successful short story. One part of this dramatic short story focuses on the narrator’s change in beliefs and behavior. In the beginning the narrator is portrayed to be a young boy with outgoing, sporadic ideas and actions. The young boy in the beginning is someone who overvalues things. He appears to have various interests that last for a short time span, but puts full effort into every different interest that appeals to him at that certain time.
He takes little events and turns them into situations which take over his life. “Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlor watching her door. The blind was pulled down within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books, and followed her” (Joyce, 2). The narrator allowed the thought of Mangan’s sister to overcome him and control his thoughts. He would fantasize about her during market time with his aunt, during school, and anytime possible.
My body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running through my wires” (Joyce, 3). He would constantly dream about the day he would speak with her and hold a conversation. Although the young narrator is a person who overvalues things in the beginning of the story, he does grow up in a sense and think more plausible explanations for his actions and feelings. Towards the end of the short story the narrator is becoming more mature comes to the realization that his desire for Mangan’s sister is only a vain wish for change.
When the narrator wanted to go to the Bazaar and buy a gift for Mangan’s sister he thought it was a great way to express his feelings towards her, so when he finally arrived and the Bazaar was closed his ideas and emotions shut down like the stands in the Bazaar. In this part of the short story, the author shows how the narrator has grown in some ways and yet is still a young boy because of his one train of thought. Instead of the narrator reaffirming his love or realizing that he does not need gifts to express his feelings for Mangan’s sister, he gives up.
When he arrives at the Bazaar and everything is closing because it is dark he interprets that as a sign that his relationship with Mangan’s sister will also remain a wishful idea and is also a misguided idea, just as the Bazaar was. Another major part of some short stories is that it must have a striking conflict that leads to a crisis or a predicament. During the story “Araby” the narrator runs into a bunch of little predicaments that lead up to the big relationship crisis at the end. One of the first problems the narrator runs into is when he is interested in going to the Bazaar and he needs money from his uncle.
It is uncle does not get home until 9 pm and by that time the narrator has to race to get to the Bazaar. His first encounter is the fact hat the entrance for the children is not finable so he has to go through a turnstile that only accepts shillings. “I could not find any sixpenny entrance… I passed in quickly through a turnstile, handing a shilling to a weary looking man” (Joyce, 4). The narrator finally arrives at his destination only a few minutes before 10pm, just to find the majority of the stands are closed. One woman was standing at a cart that had porcelain vases and flowered tea sets.
Nothing at this one stand would be sufficient. “I looked humbly at the great jars that stood like Eastern guards at either side of the dark entrance to the stall and murmured: No thank you” (Joyce, 5). With all the different parts to any dramatic short story, they all contain some sort of theme. The theme in this story “Araby” is about a young boy who throughout the essay becomes more mature. The young boy is portrayed as himself, but there are parts in the story that resemble the becoming of age. During the beginning of the story, it starts out on a sunny day in the village and ends in the darkness.
This can resemble the boy being young and becoming more mature. “Gazing into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger” (Joyce, 6). In this last sentence of the paper, the narrator has expressed his feelings and is crying. This is also a sign for the readers to pick up on. The narrator is now a more mature male, but he still has some young qualities which need to be recognized, like how he is crying. Joyce also includes how the narrator has to go from paying the sixpenny price for the entrance, to a shilling.
Just little clues like this pop up throughout the short story that make the theme more pronounced. Throughout the short story “Araby”, it contains criteria which allow its readers to have a certain mindset when reading. The criteria for this short story focuses on the relationships between the characters, the conflicts that lead to the narrator’s crisis, and a theme that no other short story is know for. The theme for this short story is something that every reader can relate to and that is why it is as popular as it is today.
Every reader, whether male or female, can relate to growing up from a young child to a teenager and/or adult. When that time comes for young children to change into adults, it is difficult for some to handle and actually realize what their purpose is in life. When children are going through this tough time, this is when they count on their parent/guardian to console them and help them through it. This was unfortunately not the case for the narrator in “Araby” and by the end of the story the reader may come to realize that this little escapade will scar him for life.