Essay Preview: Anonymous Characters
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James Joyces, Dubliners, is a collection of powerful short stories which captures the culture and social struggles in Dublin during the 20th century. The first three of Joyces short stories in the Dubliners are written in the first person. Joyce does so in order to concentrate the readers attention on the themes and messages within the text rather than being caught up in the characters thoughts and feelings of what is occurring around them. In the extremely short story, Araby, the author creates anonymous characters by leaving most of his characters unnamed and focuses more on the events happening rather than the actual characters themselves.
Joyces short story, Araby is a ballad in reference to false dreams and disappointment. Joyce creates anonymous characters by leaving them unnamed because the names of the characters have no real impact or significance to the plot of the story. Also, Joyce wants to keep the reader focused on reading in between the lines and the sub-textual message not directly proclaimed in the text. For example, the unnamed characters in Araby represents the absence of love in the narrators life as well as the Dublin society. By giving limited descriptions of the storys personas, the characters seem to be faceless, which also indicates a form of isolation that the narrator is experiencing prompting his growing attraction with his playmates sister. Joyce also creates a sense of emptiness due to the nameless characters because knowing or addressing a person by their name indicates a the establishment of a relationship; because most of the characters in Araby are without identification there is a symbolism that although the narrator is familiar with and surrounded by many people he still feels alone in the world. In addition, most of the events in the story occur within the narrators mind. For example,
“One evening, I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lightened window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together