50 pages 1 hour read

James Joyce


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1914

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Literary Devices


Juxtaposition is a literary device in which two ideas, concepts, themes, or characters are compared and contrasted by placing them in close proximity to one another. By doing so, a writer can demonstrate to the audience the profound difference which exists between two competing or similar subjects. The stark or subtle contrast between these ideas, concepts, themes, characters, or anything else can help the audience better understand the depth and meaning of the text.

In “Araby,” juxtaposition is used to highlight the difference in character between the narrator and others. The narrator and the priest are juxtaposed by their presence in the same house. Though the priest is now dead, his possessions show that he was a religious man with secular interests. His romance novels and rusty bicycle pump hint at a life which existed beyond his church. The priest’s character was not defined by religious expression. These hints at the priest’s character are juxtaposed with the narrator’s reaction to his love for Mangan’s sister. Whereas the priest held secular interests, the narrator cannot think of any way to express his love that is not religious.