In “Araby,” a story written by James Joyce, the narrator, a young boy, reflects on his experiences and the changes he goes through from the start to the end. With a newfound hope and romantic interest in Mangan, the boy makes plans to go to the bazaar so that he can buy a gift for the girl, ignoring his friends and losing focus on his schoolwork. Alas, his uncle returns home late and, in turn, the boy arrives at the bazaar just as it is coming to a close, dismantling his hope for something new and bringing only discontent. This growth from the beginning of the story, when he was focused only on “ugly monotonous child’s play” and school, and to the end, when he had experienced some form of growth or a loss of innocence, tells a coming of age story (Joyce). In his attempt to seek change and outgrow the repetitive aspects of his life, he experiences changes and became “a creature driven and derided by vanity,” depicting his anger over his lateness and revealing a harsh truth to growing up (Joyce). His recognition of his wishes demonstrates the change he went through and shows that things might not always be what they appear to be. 

In my capstone project, I can emulate a coming of age aspect in my own story, depicting a character’s realization, or loss of innocence, through an event. Like the boy in “Araby,” who, through his realization at the bazaar, grew, a character in my own story can come to their own realization about their life. They can learn their own lesson, and I can emphasize this by implementing small details in the setting as Joyce, the author, did. 

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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