This study will explore the nature and significance of the points of view in James Joyce's short story "Araby," focusing on the relationship between the perspectives of the young protagonist and the adult narrator. The boy in the story is probably in his early teens. He would have to be at least 12 or 13 for his hormones to be raging as they are. It is doubtful that he is any older than 15 or he would probably be less innocent than he is and probably would be exhibiting the kind of sarcastic or cynical front that older teenagers demonstrate after having been burned once or twice falling in and out of young love. He is experiencing his first "love" and if he were older than 12 or 13
---with his innately romantic nature---he would probably have already gone through the first awakening and crash of that first broken heart, and would be more prepared for the disappointment of the infatuation at hand. As it is, from the adult narrator's insightful recall, he is shown to be a completely innocent romantic from the first description of Mangan's sister, in a dream world with respect to the girl:
She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door. . . . Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side. . . . My heart leaped. . . . Her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood (Joyce 70).
The adult narrator tells the story of himself as a young boy as an idealistic romantic who is in love with the idea of love instead of with the flesh-and-blood object of his infatuation. His awakening brings him down to earth with a crash. The boy at the end of the story can be seen as being at the first stage of awakening that will lead to the adult narrator, who is wise and has great compassion for himself as a boy.
The adult narrator again and again characterizes himself as a boy as being ruled by his romantic outlook: "Her name sprang to my lips at moments i...