Illuminating Darkness of "Araby": A Boy's Self-Discovery

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Yun, HeeWhan
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서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
영학논집 20(1996): 123-144
Dublinersboy-narratorBildungsroman trilogy
As each section of the stories in Dubliners ─ stories of childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life ─ portrays a particular aspect of paralysis, so stories of childhood dramatize the early confrontation of youngsters with their corrupt environment. Frequently, the boy-narrator's rebellion against paralysis takes the form of an adventure or journey as a positive sign of escape. Even if he ends up experiencing deep disillusionment in his effort to get out of Dublin, this romantic endeavour plays a significant role in resisting a corrupt society and thus suggests an alternative mode of life to that of the adults, who have lost the capacity to dream. In "Araby," the last of the Bildungsroman trilogy, the narratorprotagonist completes his disturbing initiation into the adult world, which continually discourages individual sensibility and freedom, while forcing young members to accept and internalize an institutionalized code of behaviour. As a meaningful sequel to "An Encounter," in which the theme of sexual initiation turns into a shocking story, the boynarrator's awakening sexuality is again dramatized in "Araby" through his puppy love for Mangan's sister. This paper will examine the boy-narrator's ongoing process of self-recognition through his disenchantment with the corrupt commercialism which suffocates any possibility of romantic dream of secape.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.20 (1996)
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