This study guide will help you analyse the text “Araby” by James Joyce. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, themes and message.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Araby”
Author: James Joyce
Published in: Dubliners (short stories collection)
Date of Publication: 1914
Genre: Short Story

James Joyce (1882-1941) was a Modernist writer from Ireland. His works fall into various literary genres from short stories and novels to plays and essays. He is mostly known for his innovative style of writing, introducing new narrative techniques such as stream of consciousness (following a character’s thought flow). Some of his most appreciated literary works are the novel Ulysses and the short story collection Dubliners - of which “Araby” is a part.


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Similes and comparison are used to depict Mangan’s sister and the narrator’s feelings towards her: “I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.”; “But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.

Similes are also employed to depict the setting of the Araby Bazaar: “I recognised a silence like that which pervades a church after a service.”; “I looked humbly at the great jars that stood like eastern guards at either side of the dark entrance to the stall and murmured:”

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