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Araby - Essay Example

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The story is about a Dubliner’s journey through adolescence. The Dubliner is actually a boy living with his aunt and uncle in a blind street. Araby is a tale beginning from childhood and ending on maturity. This essay seeks to use…
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Araby: Araby is a short story written by James Joyce. The story is about a Dubliner’s journey through adolescence. The Dubliner is actually a boy living with his aunt and uncle in a blind street. Araby is a tale beginning from childhood and ending on maturity. This essay seeks to use one theory to analyse the extent to which it can be considered useful to understand the chosen fiction written by Joyce. Psychoanalytical perspective will be used to explain one of the story’s main themes. There are many psychoanalytic models which focus on inner conflicts.
Freud is considered to be the father of psychoanalysis. The concepts of trauma and memory play a central role for development of many popular psychoanalytic ideas. According to Freud, many childhood experiences in early family life can subsequently produce repercussions in adult life. They can also play a significant role in structuring a road-map for the future. All psychoanalytic models are used to explain human behaviour of different kinds. They help to understand why people, though same on the surface, tend to act in different ways practically.
Psychoanalytic perspective helps to understand the young boy in Araby. Through the lens of psychoanalysis, we can scrutinize the state of mind of that boy who is also the narrator. He, as a child, is surrounded by such events which deeply influence him in deciding to attend the bazaar which marks the end of his adolescence. He is frustrated by the mundane details of everyday life and wants to seek escape. Attending the bazaar to buy a gift for the girl he likes is his way of escape from his mundane life. He does not like the loneliness which envelops him. Psychoanalysts stress that social environment and relationships can have good and bad influences. Social relationships influence personality development not only in childhood, but throughout life (Cherry, 2014). Now, Dublin’s social environment, which is heavily influenced by the Catholic Church, sees desire as immoral. This is why the young boy in Araby is filled with shame at the end of the story when his pursuit of desire and love turns out to be fruitless. This suggests that external factors are often responsible for the dark and acutely distressing loneliness which resides inside people.
Melanie Klein is another renowned psychoanalyst who is often credited with the concept of inner representations. She claimed that behavioural development is essentially dependent on “the relationships between young child and the objects in its environment” (Bell, 2011). If we apply this concept to the young boy in Araby, it can be appreciated that they boy’s behavioural development is very much affected by Dublin’s conservative environment. This is why he does not convey his real feelings to the girl he likes. This is why instead of graciously accepting the flaw in his idealized version of love, he is filled with a sense of shame and loneliness. He does not know how to respond when desire is not fulfilled because the society in which he grew up never told him anything on the subject.
References:
Bell, N. (2011). The ideas of Melanie Klein and Object Relations Theory. Retrieved from http://noelbell.net/2011/10/04/the-ideas-of-melanie-klein-and-object-relations-theory/
Cherry, K. (2014). Personality Development. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/personality-dev.htm Read More
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