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James Joyce’s Araby – Loss of Innocence in Araby

Loss of Innocence in Araby

In her story, “Araby,” James Joyce concentrates on character rather than on plot to reveal the ironies inherent in self-deception. On one level “Araby” is a story of initiation, of a boy’s quest for the ideal. The quest ends in failure but results in an inner awareness and a first step into manhood. On another level the story consists of a grown man’s remembered experience, for the story is told in retrospect by a man who looks back to a particular moment of intense meaning and insight. As such, the boy’s experience is not restricted to youth’s encounter with first love. Rather, it is a portrayal of a continuing problem all through life: the incompatibility of the ideal, of the dream as one wishes it to be, with the bleakness of reality. This double focus-the boy who first experiences, and the man who has not forgotten-provides for the dramatic rendering of a story of first love told by a narrator who, with his wider, adult vision, can employ the sophisticated use of irony and symbolic imagery necessary to reveal the story’s meaning.

The boy’s character is indirectly suggested in the opening scenes of the story. He has grown up in the backwash of a dying city. Symbolic images show him to be an individu…

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…ossibility. That sense of loss is intensified, for its dimension grows as we realize that the desire to, live the dream will continue through adulthood.

At no other point in the story is characterization as brilliant as at the end. Joyce draws his protagonist with strokes designed to let us recognize in “the creature driven and derided by vanity” both a boy who is initiated into knowledge through a loss of innocence and a man who fully realizes the incompatibility between the beautiful and innocent world of the imagination and the very real world of fact. In “Araby,” Joyce uses character to embody the theme of his story.

Free Grendel Essays: The Misunderstood Monster Grendel Essays

Grendel: The Misunderstood Monster Grendel is an unhappy soul in John Gardner’s book “Grendel”, because he feels useless in society and doesn’t want to accept his given role. Throughout this whole book Grendel feels he has no friend in the outside word and no one to except him besides his own mother. He doesn’t want to except his role in society which is to be the Great Destroyer. Man creates a huge problem in Grendel’s life and has had a major effect on the way he lives with man. Grendel is unhappy in many ways. He wants to be accepted by man but never knew why he was always shunned out of their society. Grendel in the beginning never set out to hurt man just understand him. When Grendel shows up the first time in the mead hall he yells “Mercy! Peace!” But no one even gives him a chance when he walks in holding a dead body and using it for protection against the drunken men swinging axes and swords at him. Grendel dose not understand this as he says “they were doomed, I knew, and I was glad.” showing the hope for destruction of the human race. In Grendel’s eyes humans are going to destroy themselves and he will be glad when it happens. Grendel is very lonely in the world of man. He has only one person close to him and that is his mother. She cares for Grendel but just with the natural motherly instincts which Grendel sees as mechanical. Grendel doesn’t understand, “Why can’t I have someone to talk to?” as the world starts to look darker in his eyes. Animals of all sorts are enemies of his because they don’t understand him. Grendel is more superior Grendel’s role in society is to be the great destroyer. The Dragon tells Grendel this ” You improve them, my boy! … You stimulate them!” but Grendel dose not want to except it. HE want to be part of the humanistic world. He want a different role in society. This makes Grendel very unhappy that he cannot be accepted. The Dragon puts a spell on Grendel that lets weapons not harm him. At first he dose not like this because he thinks that the fun of destroying men would be to easy at this point. He starts to grow into this though and plays his role as the great destroyer. This book shows how Grendel put up with man and learned to adapt to the humanistic ways of life. It took him a while to adapt but he did find it fun to reck the humans world. Since he was not excepted he would have to take the role of the great destroyer at the end of the story.

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