James Joyce (1882-1941) was born in Dublin. Along with W.B Yeats and George Bernard Shaw, he formed the trio. Joyce’s novel, “A Portrait of the Youngman” is a very popular novel, “Dubliners” (1905) his first book. It is the collection of short stories. His other important works are “Ulysses (1922), “Finnegan’s Lake” (1939).
“Araby” by James Joyce is a great and all time’s favorite short story. “Araby” can be criticized from different aspect. It is the story of a boy. James Joyce pregnated the theme of his story with various symbolic overtones, he creates the real world. In real world each and every person has to face the frustration, displeasure, love hatred, reality. This is the truth and universal. “Araby is about dream, happiness, realism, darkness and drab world.
The boy- hero of the story lives in the drab surrounding of Dublin. From the very beginning of the story we get to know that the boy has a secret adoration for a girl. She is the sister of boy-hero’s friend Mangan. The boy nourishes a very deep and pure passion for his dream girl. He waits earnestly every day to have a glimpse of the girl. But the boy never gets the chance to speak with his lady-love. He always carries the image of the girl. He cannot forget her name for a moment. he describes his condition in the following words: “I imagined that I bore the chalice safely through a throng of foes”
The boy-hero pined for the beauty and love of the girl. Very co-incidentally the girl speaks with the boy. It is great moment for the boy. The girl speaks about “Araby”, a great fest, it is the dreamland which is full of glamour and grandeur . For the boy it is a double treat. First his dream girl speaks with her and secondly he is thrilled by the place “Araby”. It is another romantic affair for the boy-hero.
He wants to visit this dreamland along with his girl. But she cannot able to accompany him as she has retreat in her convent. The boy promises that he will bring some gifts for her from that splendid place called — Araby. The boy-hero now wishes to memorize those few moments and very little sweat sentences that they exchanged. This is the only important work for the boy. And on the other hand he wants to go the magical place called Araby. He is anxiously waiting for the day when he will go to Araby. He is very much excited and full of thrill. He is very much happy that he is finally on his way of his dream destination.
But due to some delay, he reached Araby in a very awkward moment. When he reaches the place at that time most of the stalls are closed and moreover the large portion of the gala is ended in darkness. He cannot able to taste the glamour and the grandeur of the place his dream. He finds that all dreams are breaking before his eyes and he cannot able do anything to retain his dreams. There is complete darkness in the hall. He finds out the place is only meant for commercial purpose. And in such place neither his dream nor his love can stand forcefully. He left the place with anger and frustration. The place has no charm for him. He finds out that place is very much inferior. He cannot able to match the place of his dream with the real place where he is standing.
The place is basically place for bargaining and purchasing of different commodities. In such a place all his dream shatters down. Before coming in the place he is in the dream world. In that world he finds the girl and Araby. But from now onwards he can see the hard core reality which is very harsh. He feels frustration and this frustration is universal. It lies deep in the heart of the man. Every one wishes free him out of the drab reality but he fails. Failure, frustration, mechanical manner, anger, anguish are all the universal diseases of every man.
Joyce very nicely and easily through this boy held the idea of today’s living standard. He uses various images and symbols for showing the universal experiences of this universe. Here lies Joyce’s simplicity towards life and his approach to life. Through the love ratio between the boy and the girl he focuses on the point what we wants sometimes we do not get that desired and most wanted object in our life. Then only we suffer from frustration.