What Is the Point of View of the Story “Araby”?
The short story “Araby,” by James Joyce, is told in the first-person point of view of an unnamed adolescent boy infatuated with the sister of his friend. He lives on North Richmond Street in Dublin with his uncle and aunt.
“Araby” is an atmospheric tale of an insecure young boy coming of age. The boy begins the narrative by describing the house, street and neighborhood in which he lives. He then tells of his infatuation for his friend Mangan’s sister. He watches her from the front window of his home, arranges to walk near her without speaking, thinks of her constantly and prays that he might meet her. She finally speaks to him, asking him if he is going to the street bazaar known as Araby. He replies that he is, and that he is also going to bring her back something. He asks his uncle and aunt for permission and money to go to the bazaar on Saturday evening. However, his uncle forgets and comes home late. By the time the boy reaches the bazaar by train, most of it is closed and dark. He is unable to purchase anything for Mangan’s sister and feels frustrated and angry.
The theme of a circular journey ending in frustration is evident in several stories in the collection “Dubliners” in which “Araby” first appeared. The character of the adolescent boy in “Araby” is similar to the main character, Stephen Dedalus, in Joyce’s novels “Ulysses” and “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.”