Certain that Dublin
was a center of spiritual paralysis, James Joyce unite together histories in Dubliners by their setting. Each of the stories
in the “Dubliners” consists of a way Dublin dehumanizes the way of life. The boy in the story “Araby”
is exposed to the city's dark, fruitless conventionality, and his need for escape is what forms the central idea of the story.
At first glimpse it is a story about a boy's first love but as one looks deeper into the story is evident that it is about
the world in which he lives, a world opposed to dreams. This deeper level is introduced and developed through the use of imagery.
To commence, North Richmond Street is first described in order to presents the reader
with his first view into the boy’s life. The street is described as “blind,” as a dead end, but those who
live there are ironically satisfied, this is seen by the descriptions of the houses as “imperturbable” in the
“quiet,” the ” “cold,” the “dark muddy lanes” and with “dark dripping gardens.”
The people who live there are not affected, but deeply self-satisfied. The atmosphere of blindness extends from a general
imagery of the street and the people to the boy's personal relationships. The boy waits well into the evening in the "imperturbable"
house with its musty smell and old, useless objects that fill the rooms. This demonstrates that the house is like the aunt
and uncle, and everyone else around who are good people but have strict values. In addition, the second use of imagery is when describing the death of the priest
and his belongings whish show sings of a more essential past. The imagery of the bicycle pump rusting in the back yard and
the old yellow books show what was once the priest’s life, a life in which he was actively participating in the service
of God and man.
imagery emphasizes the paralyzed world in which the boy is now living. The priest is dead, the pump rusted and the books yellow,
the exiting past is over. Even with this atmosphere of paralysis the boy still holds on, with unparallel hopes, his encounter
with first love. Regardless of the cruel reality of “drunken men and bargaining women” the boy carries his aunt's
groceries imagining that he is holding, a "chalice through a throng of foes" showing the difference between him and everyone
else. Due to this deference and great imagination, he converts in his mind a regular girl into a princess. The difference
between the real world and the boy's dreams is shows his inability to see life therefore being as blind after all as everyone
Thus, the boy's final dissatisfaction happens
as he realizes how the world around him truly is. He is separated from his blindness and is alone in the realization that
life and love are not what he dreamed. "Araby" is not just a story of first love, it is the image of a world that does not
fit the dreams of those who live in it. Imagery in the story is what brings forth the mood of paralysis, and the contrast
between life and the boy’s dream. At the end as he is finally able to understand this, he takes his first step into