Questions for Discussion
1. Why does the narrator want to go to the bazaar?
2. why does he arrive so late?
3. What doesn't he buy anything for Mangan's sister?
4. Enumerate the activities taking place at Araby. To what extent do they sustain its "magical name"?
5. What had the narrator expeced to find at Araby? What was the basis of his expectation?
6. Define the narrator's feelings for Mangan's sister. To what extent is she the cause of those feelings? What, as they say, does he see in her?
7. What purpose might Joyce have had in choosing not to mention the object of the narrator's affections until the middle of the third paragraph? Describe the context into which she is introduced. In what ways is she part of the world of North Richmond Street?
8. What is the role of the narrator's uncle in the story? What values and attitudes does he represent? Are they preferable to those of the narrator?
9. Find patterns in the story that show relevance to "light," "vision," and "beauty."
10. What is the search for the Holy Grail and how is it like the story?
11. Make two lists: 1) record ideas, images, and allusions that suggest contexts remote from the immediate situation, jotting down associations that they bring to mind; 2) note anything mentioned in the story with which you are unfamiliar. Look some of these items up.
Creative writers:1) Write an informal paragraph or two showing to what extent tracking Joyce's mind in this fashion helped you to understand and enjoy the story.
2) Narrate an experience in which were disappointed. First show how your
erroneous expectations were generated; then, describe what youactually encounted
in such a way that its contrast with your expectations is clear.
Some of the dynamic patterns repeat themselves, that develop and broaden their scope, and lead to other vistas of significance: the Homeric references, the motifs of direction, of sacramental rejuvenation, of paralysis, of kinesis and stasis, and of living death, the presentations of moral, intellectual, and spiritual degeneration and deterioration, of the living dead, of the contrast between the banal and tawdry and the sensuous, romantic visions of youth, or hard cash versus purity of heart.