Araby is a short story written by Irish writer James Joyce in early 1900s. Joyce, in Araby, explores the conflict between the objective world and idealism. The story seems to be a tug of war between the real and the ideal world. The protagonist is a young guy who happens to come across a girl. Struck by her beauty, he becomes intensely infatuated with her. Her illusion follows him everywhere.
Once, the girl happens to ask the protagonist if he had ever been to Araby – the bazaar. Hearing that, the protagonist becomes obsessed with the idea of visiting Araby. What he fails to realize is that he was running after shadows. Joyce encapsulates a psychological rightness which seems convincing to the protagonist as well as the reader. The boy becomes so engulfed and occupied with the notion of visiting Araby that everything else in life appears trivial to him in comparison.
Ultimately, after much effort, he manages to go to Araby. However as soon as he reaches there he is disillusioned to no end. The bazaar is nothing like what the lady had elaborated. He realizes he was blindly going after illusions. Araby signifies an ideal of life, romance and beauty. Likewise, it is also a coming of age story.
A lecturer and lifestyle consultant by the day; an avid reader and writer by the night, I am a student of life.