an impossible quest?
Your Q&A
Social Background
You & “Araby”
The Boy’s Language: Image &
Group Discussion/Rehearsal
Performance and Analysis
Q & A (1)
Why is Mangan's sister not given a name in the s
tory? (a nobody; easy for us to identify with)
2. What do you think made the protagonist angry
in the end of the story? (Not getting what he
wants, dream broken, realizing
how vainglorious he was.  story of
3. Why did the author use the word ”wires” instead
of ”strings" in this following sentence:
"But my body was like a harp and
her words and gestures were like fingers running
upon the wires"?
Wire vs. String:
Harp strings may be made of nylon, gut (羊腸線), wire
or silk. (Wikipedia)
“The wire strung harp is often called the Irish or
Scottish harp. It is an early musical instrument”
Q & A (2)
Do you think whether the author purposely
set the boy's family background as one different
from most people's? * (see Note below)
How does the woman at the stall influence the
narrator by merely asking him whether to buy
anything out of a sense of
duty? And why did the author write down the
detailed conversation?
How does religion influence the characters?
A: apple, chalice, the sister’s not being able to go
to Araby, etc.
Social Factors: Religion, Alcoholism
and Family/Class Background
Irish Society: Catholicism,
Politics and Alcoholism
James Joyce (1882–1941)
James Joyce & The Dubliners
1. 4:24 N. Richman st.
2. 31:00 Dublin as “the
center of paralysis” –4
aspects: Childhood,
Adolescence, Maturity
and Public Life
3. 34:00 - “Araby” – not
all about paralysis and
James Joyce (1882-1941):
Personal Background
Born into a middle-class, Catholic family
Attended a Jesuit school and went on to study
philosophy and languages at University College,
Almost declared priesthood but then renounced it
for the pursuit of his art.
Exiled: Moved to Paris after graduation, and
then, except for a short return to Dublin, stayed
being an expatriate. (source)
Social Background & the Story
Three Major Issues in Dublin in and after
the Turn of the 20th Century:
Noises vs.
Poverty and the rise of Irish Nationalism
(cultural, political and military song of
“Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa” in the market)
For Joyce, alcoholism (e.g. Joyce’s father, the
boy’s uncle)
Irish Catholicism in decline ( the dead
priest and the boy’s religious sentiment; “I'm
afraid you may put off your bazaar for this
night of Our Lord.”)
Signs of Poverty and
Materialist Needs in the Story
Spiritual Poverty
 The boy without parents; praying alone.
Noises vs.
 The priest dead
Material Poverty
 The boy’s need of money
 The visit of Mrs. Mercer, a pawnbroker's widow –
The uncle owes her some money?
Feelings of
being driven
A combination:
and derided by
 “… --O, there's a . . . fib!”
 I allowed the two pennies to fall against the
sixpence in my pocket.
FYI: Joyce Plan on
The Dubliners
"My intention was to write a chapter of the moral
history of my country and I chose Dublin for the
scene because the city seemed to me the centre of
paralysis. I have tried to present it to the
indifferent public under four of its aspects:
childhood, adolescence, maturity, and public life.
The stories are arranged in this order. I have
written it for the most part in a style of
scrupulous meanness and with the conviction that
he is a very bold man who dares to alter in the
presentment, still more to deform, whatever he
has seen and heard. I cannot do any more than
this. I cannot alter what I have written. " Letters,
2:134 .
FYI: Joyce on The Dubliners
 the Universal
"For myself, I always write about Dublin,
because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I
can get to the heart of all the cities of the
world. In the particular is contained the
Questions for YOU!
Is the boy self-centered? Is the story fair to the girl?
Can you relate to him in any way?
Pay attention to images of light, darkness and
religion. Is the darkness described in the middle part
of the story (e.g. in the priest’s room), the same with
that at the end? Or does the boy feel the same about
The story of a quest – Read it in its social context or
as a universal story?
Describe—and compare--the functions and
implications of the dominant images in the stories
we have read: “Boys and Girls,” “A&P” and “Araby.”
Have you had any experience
similar to that of “Araby”?
Puppy love and quest
Mixture of passion and religious sentiment
(e.g. ecstasy)
First Shopping Experience
First Negative Encounter with Adults
If so, what makes your experience less
frustrating than the boy’s?
"Araby" -- Performance
[1] childhood game and Mangan‘s sister (par 1-6)
setting –N. Richmond St
2. [3] talking with Mangan's sister (par 7-11)
3. [5] waiting alone for the action (par 12) –Dublin
4. [7] the boy waiting for his uncle (par 13-22) -Home
5. [9] going to the Bazaar (par 23-24) –train station;
street of Dublin
6. [11] at the Bazaar (25-end)
“Araby” -- Analysis
[2] Setting (1): Images that tell us about the
social environment
[4] Roles of Religion vs. that of Materialism:
Depiction of Mangan’s sister and the boy’s
feelings for her
[6] The boy’s changes: The boy before and
after he talks with Mangan’s sister (Araby)
[8] Setting (2): Family (The boy’s uncle and
[10] Setting (3): Dublin
[12] Setting (4): the bazaar, (Araby)
Let’s Take a Break!!!
Group Discussion
10:10 – 10:30
Come back at 10:40
Religion & Society in
Figurative Language
Image, Metaphor and Symbol
Language in Setting (1)– images of
enclosure, darkness and decay +
dead religion
North Richmond Street – “blind,”
expressionless and imperturbable.
The priest’s room – musty air, littered useless
papers, The Abbot, by Walter Scott, The
Devout Communicant, and The Memoirs of
I liked the last best because its leaves were
the backyard – rusty bike-pump, wild garden
with an apple tree
Language in Setting (2)—light in
darkness, femininity
Mangan’s sister
Railroad and the street scenes
The bazaar
The Boy’s Love -- Mangan’s Sister
Images of light vs. browness (pars. 3, 10 vs.
4, 15). Why?
She was waiting for us, her figure defined
by the light from the half-opened door. [. . .]
Her dress swung as she moved her body,
and the soft rope of her hair tossed from
side to side.
“I kept her brown figure always in my eye”;
“the brown-clad figure cast by my
imagination ”
Narration, Dialogue &
Thought Bubbles
Characters: The Boy
par 5-6: 3rd-person narration + thought
bubble. (confusing his religious sentiment
with the romantic) (film: chap 5-6)
par 10, 16  Dialogue between the boy and
Mangan’s sister; par 16, when he waits for
his uncle. (film: chap 7)
Par 25 –ending: Dialogue+ Narration +
Thought Bubbles
Note: Thought Bubble
Too late ….
Don’t forget your
The Boy & his puppy love
Stands by the railing when seeing or
talking to her.
Possible Readings of Mangan’s sister:
She is unaware of his adoration;
She is limited by her environment which is a
mixture of religious devoutness and
The boy’s emotions –religious
You are my
O Love! O
Par 5 [In the market, he] imagined that [he]
bore [his] chalice safely through a throng of
Speaks of her names “in strange prayers and
praises” he does not understand, his eyes full
of tears.
Par 6 At the priest’s room: “All his senses
seemed to desire to veil themselves and,
feeling that he was about to slip from them,
he pressed the palms of my hands together
until they trembled, murmuring: O love! O
love! many times. ”  religious devotion and
Final Question: Creative
Can this be a story set in Taiwan – or
where you are from?
How will the setting be changed?
(Setting: commerce, religion and politics)
"A Rose for Emily" –
Emily on Trial -Did she kill Homer Barren?
[2] Judge –jury trial (see next slide)
[4] Prosecutor ref.
[6] Defendant, Emily (at age 80)
[8] Defendant's Lawyer ref.
[10] Witness (1): the first-generation
town people (e.g. Colonel Sartoris)
[12] Witness (2): Town people of the
2nd generation (who went into her
house twice)
Trial Procedure Simplified
Opening statements. The prosecution and then the
defense make opening statements to the judge or jury.
These statements provide an outline of the case that
each side expects to prove. …
Prosecution case-in-chief. The prosecution presents
its main case through direct examination of
prosecution witnesses.
Cross-examination. The defense may cross-examine
the prosecution witnesses.
Defense case-in-chief. The defense presents its main
case through direct examination of defense witnesses.
Cross-examination. The prosecutor cross-examines
the defense witnesses.
Jury’s questions & deliberation Ref. 1, 2

Araby - 輔仁大學英國語文學系 Fu Jen University