people walking on street during night time

The character change in “Araby” by the young boy demonstrates an eventual loss of innocence, a loss of innocence that is driven by his defeat and despair. In the short story, a young boy is passionately excited to attend a bazaar, and the time leading up to his eventual arrival seems to drag on in a painfully slow manner, as he states “I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child’s play, ugly monotonous child’s play,” which demonstrates that the young and excited child was consumed with his envisioning of the culminating event of purchasing an item from the bazaar for the girl he loved in a passionate manner (Joyce 3). When the young boy eventually arrives at the bazaar, however, the character becomes immediately disappointed in the fact that the shops were closing for the night and he could not purchase a nice gift for the girl he ardently loved. In his final moment at the bazaar, the young boy recalls that “my eyes burned with anguish and anger,” his final realization and admittance to himself that his reality could certainly never be as grand and satisfying as his compelling dreams.

In “Araby,” the elements that I can emulate in my capstone project are the author’s heavy emphasis on describing the setting in the beginning of the story and the complex detailing of one character’s coming of age journey, a journey that results in an inevitable character change by the end of the story. A description of the setting in the beginning of a story allows readers to begin to imagine how a character’s mood will correlate with his/her setting, as the setting, oftentimes, heavily influences the motives and actions of a character. Additionally, in a coming of age story, it is extremely important to adequately detail the emotions of a character, as an emotional change by a character is what demonstrates the themes of a story because an emotional change demonstrates that a character has learned something; as a result, the readers can also learn from the character’s journey. Likewise, an emotional change is also commonly associated with the character’s environment, such as the character’s journey to the bazaar in “Araby.” Both the setting and emotional coming of age journey of a character are often intertwined with one affecting the other, and vice versa. 

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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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