In James JoyceÆs Araby, a young man is beginning to mature and with that maturity comes a growing sense of interest in the opposite sex. His interest in ManganÆs daughter becomes a mythical and magical experience for him. This experience makes him focus on Araby, the place where he believes his dreams will come true. The young man hopes to find a present worthy of his object of affection at Araby, where a bazaar is being held. Eventually, the young man will arrive in Araby, only to find the location where he thought his dreams would come true is an empty and unfulfilling place. He decides his ôstay was uselessö and views himself as ôa creature driven and derided by vanityö (Joyce 45-46). Joyce uses religious symbols throughout the text as a way of showing that the young manÆs maturity is a journey of faith, one that leaves him disillusioned by the failure of his dreams to materialize.
The young narrator in Araby is determined to go to Araby to find a present for his object of affection. He associates Araby with a mystical and magical place where dreams come true. The story opens with our learning that the house in which the narrator lives had been formerly owned by a now dead priest. Books like The Abbot, The Devout Communicant and The Memoirs of Vidocq remain behind. The Devout Communicant is important, because in his mission to achieve his desires the young man is quite devout. He is like a devout priest in his focus on Araby as the fulfillment of his desires for his object of affection. As Harry Levin maintains, the narrator in Araby and writers are on a mission of faith, ôThe writerÆs vantage point is that of ôArabyö: an acolyte bearing his chalice through the streets of Dublinö (8).
The narrator idolizes his object of affection. At one point he enters the drawing-room where the priest had died. He is in a near-trance-like state, with all of his senses veiled. At one point he