Ι. Research Question
Does the story “Araby” actually reflect James Joyce’s life?
James Joyce is one of the most distinguished authors of the twentieth century. In Critical Survey of Short Fiction, the author mentioned that “James Joyce’s name is synonymous with twentieth century fiction, to a revolution in which he devoted himself with remarkable single-mindedness” (1290). He was not only a novelist but also a gifted poet, dramatist and critic. James Joyce was born in Dublin in Ireland. His family was only a middle class in the Irish ranks. When he was 9, his family couldn’t afford his education, so he dropped out of school in 1893. In 1914, he made his first publication--Dubliners. It had been delayed for nearly seven years. Dubliners is a collection of short stories describing the culture, native language and society of Dublin. “Araby” is one of the short stories in Dubliners.
Ⅲ. Gap in current literature and contribution to knowledge
I have looked many books and critical writings about Araby, they mention very little on the relationship between the boy in Araby and its author James Joyce. Harry Stone points out that the boy in “Araby” is just like the young James Joyce (169), however he doesn’t give much explanation and provide enough evidences. He also mentions that the name Mangan was very much favored by Joyce and was used in the story Araby as the girl, was favored by Joyce. (170). I think this is pretty intriguing, though Harry Stone doesn’t explain clearly about how the poet affects James Joyce. Some critics think that the boy in the story reflects to a certain extent the character of James Joyce, who is aggressive and passionate, always trying his best to achieve his goal in life, but they both failed eventually due to the cruel reality of life. However critics and commentaries didn’t point out specifically as to...