50 pages 1 hour read

James Joyce


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1914

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.



  • 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.
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
Unlock IconUnlock all 50 pages of this Study Guide
Plus, gain access to 8,000+ more expert-written Study Guides.
Including features:
+ Mobile App
+ Printable PDF
+ Literary AI Tools