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50 pages 1 hour read

James Joyce

Araby

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1914

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Introduction

“Araby”

  • Genre: Fiction; Modernist short story
  • Originally Published: 1914
  • Reading Level/Interest: Grades 10-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: Single short story; approximately 9 pages; approximately 14 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: The unnamed adolescent protagonist lives with his aunt and uncle in Dublin, Ireland. He develops a crush on his friend’s sister and promises to bring her a gift from the local bazaar, Araby. The story follows his realization of the harsh realities of life as contrasted with his romantic expectations.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Themes of disillusionment and awakening; poverty; religious undertones

 

James Joyce, Author

  • Bio: Born 1882; died 1941; renowned Irish novelist and poet; key figure in Modernist literature; his work revolutionized the novel form; known for his complex narratives and experimental use of language; considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century
  • Other Works: Dubliners (1914); A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916); Ulysses (1922); Finnegans Wake (1939)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Love and Religion
  • Innocence and Shame
  • Death and Absence

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the historical and literary contexts regarding the impact of the Catholic Church on the Irish identity, which incites Joyce’s Modernist prose.
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