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Compare / Contrast "araby" & "lust"

Essay by   •  November 18, 2010  •  Essay  •  792 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,062 Views

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Joyce's Araby begins as a story about a young boy and his first love, his neighbor referred to in the story as Mangan's sister. However, the young boy soon turns his innocent love and curiosity into a much more intense desire, transforming this female and his journey to the bazaar into something much more intense and lustful. From the beginning, Joyce paints a picture of the neighborhood in which the boy lives as very dark and cold. Even the rooms within his house are described as unfriendly, "Air, musty from having long been enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old and useless papers." The young boy sees all of this unpleasant setting around him, and we see Mangan's sister portrayed as being above all that, almost as the one and only bright spot and positive thing in his life.

The first sign of the boy's true desire and love for this girl occurs when he is sitting in his room almost day dreaming of the girl. With the boy's quote "But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires," it is obvious that this girl has intense control over the young boy even before they interact in any direct form. His life and emotions are completely tied up with this girl and he finds it hard to live his everyday life because of that. Once he has his encounter with the girl and they discuss the upcoming bazaar, his desire and focus completely changes to attending the upcoming event. However, his true desire, Mangan's sister, has not changed. Attending the bazaar and getting her a gift is simply an extension of his obsession and desire for this girl. Now, he has something specific to focus on and look to in their relationship. Immediately after he tells her how he will buy her a gift, his thoughts turn to "What innumerable follies laid waste my waking and sleeping thoughts after the evening! I wished to annihilate the tedious intervening days. I chafed against work of school." Again, the boy has no focus or use for anything else going on in his life other than being involved with his love.

In comparing this to Susan Minot's Lust, we see many similarities in that both main characters of the stories have desire and intense wanting, but they are different in form. Minot uses many small, short encounters and stories to portray the main character's life and emotions. Similar to Araby, the settings and atmosphere in which the young girl's life takes place is very negative and unfriendly. Just from the first paragraph describing one of her boys, "In his illegal car we drove to the reservoir, radio

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