Exile and Illusions
In "Araby" James Joyce portrays his childhood as a dark, hopeless and poverty stricken one. Which would lead one to believe that this was how Joyce himself grew up, which is somewhat true. In fact Joyce was born into a fairly prosperous family of Irish merchants, although like all Irish Catholics of the time, "the Joyces inherited a tradition of legal and cultural repression."(Bloom) As time wore on the Anglo-Irish aristocracy took its toll on his family's wealth taking away all of his fathers land as well as his career. This slide in social standing seemed to have discouraged Joyce's creativity, as symbolized in his short story "Araby". Joyce believed he was a victim of circumstance, and saw his Irish homeland as a prison because of that circumstance.
Joyce 's creativity was discouraged in a few different ways, we will examine the two major culprits, the church and religious symbolism, as well as the social restrictions he had to contend with. First let us discuss the religious symbolism implied throughout the story. In the opening paragraphs Joyce talks about the Priest whom had died where the narrator himself now lives. The home where the narrator had found a smut book, as well as the Priest's will and paperwork of charitable contributions, since when does a Priest make enough money to have an extensive will, wonders the narrator? I also believe the Araby bazaar was a symbo...