When analysing a literary text like “Araby” by James Joyce, it helps to start by looking at the way the author has chosen to structure it.

Short stories are generally organized around a simple structure which we call plot.



The title of the short story designates the name of the bazaar the protagonist wants to reach; it is thus the final destination in this hero’s journey and reaching it on time should guarantee a symbolic passage or initiation.



The story begins with a lengthy description of the narrator’s neighbourhood and surroundings and it gradually introduces the characters. Initially, it is not even clear the narrator is a boy. Furthermore, nothing is mentioned about “Araby” which makes the story even more intriguing:



The middle of the short story, or the rising action, presents the narrator being challenged. The girl he likes finally speaks to him and he finds himself offering to buy something for her from the Araby Bazaar. Then, the boy passes several points of tension:



The ending of the short story is comprised of the falling action and an unexpected resolution. The boy arrives at the Araby Bazaar, but most of the shops are closed. However, he does find one where he might find a gift for the girl he likes.


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