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The Structure of Araby Essay Breakdown

1. Joyce follows a strict guideline of the plot of a traditional medieval romance. In contrast to
Professor Freimarcks words, Araby does much more than simply raise echoes of the Grail Quest
story-pattern. In fact, Joyce has full intention to make references within his story to quests of that
time frame, evoked by the use of events in his story found in traditional medieval romances.

2. Joyces story structure creates several instances of irony in the story which are identified by the
author of the essay, Jerome Mandel. The most prominent example would be how Mandel describes
the unhappy ending of the story, the failure in the quest of the protagonist. The author mentions
that although the boy in Araby was unsuccessful in buying a present for Mangans sister, his
quest was still successful as he developed a better understanding of oneself as a creature driven
and derided by vanity. Mandel implies that although the protagonist failed to carry out the
original purpose of going to the bazaar, his epiphany could be considered to be just as fruitful since
this newfound understanding would likely help him grow as a person. Another example of irony
would be how despite being portrayed as a knight and a hero in a Grail Quest, the features of the
protagonist is not very similar to that of a medieval warrior. Mandel himself describes that although
the heroes in the middle ages had to overcome numerous battles and obstacles to complete his
quest, the boy in the story displayed no heroic characteristics.

3. I believe that this clarification weakens the authors standpoint on his essay. Mandels entire
opinion circles around the idea that Joyce very knowingly wrote this story to instigate a connection
to medieval romance. In an effort to further support his thesis, the author introduces Mangans
sisters remark, Its well for you, given that it has romantic significance in medieval English.
However, Mandels immediate rejection of the said meaning suggests the Joyce in fact did not
intend for a relationship to exist between his story and the middle ages, therefore going against
Mandels entire opinion.

4. The enfance ends with the introduction of the heroine,

Describes Mangans sister as the enemy who makes the lovers life unquiet, similar to
how Laudine is publicly Yvains enemy
Describes her to be above him and taboo, in this case because of her age and the fact
that she is his friends sister
Mentions how the protagonist following the sister is similar to seynt in Chaucers Troilus

I believe Mandel has a convincing argument given the fact that Mangans sister represents the
allure to the other in the protagonists nave childhood. It is seen in the narrative how this allure
brings a halt to his fun and games as he [stands] by the railings looking at her. The authors
statement which makes reference to the protagonist as the hero of a medieval romance is
accurately represented by comparing his actions in the Araby to stories set in that time frame and
given the numerous similarities, Mandels argument very effectively supports his thesis.