Foreshadowing in Araby

In this short story, James Joyce uses dark, gloomy imagery to describe the narrator’s surroundings, which subsequently foreshadows the narrator’s ultimate realization of his own delusions of life and love.

Foreshadowing Examples in Araby:

Araby 5

"I listened to the fall of the coins..."   (Araby)

The word "fall" makes another appearance in this passage, again supporting the notion that like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the boy is about to experience his own "fall" from innocence.

"I could interpret these signs..."   (Araby)

Instead of saying that the uncle is drunk, Joyce lets the reader figure this out along with the boy. This technique also serves another purpose: it shows how the boy has started to correctly interpret signs, demonstrating some growth on his part. This development foreshadows his final interpretation of his trip to Araby.

"falling, lit up the hand upon the railing. It fell..."   (Araby)

This sentence melds the boy's confused feelings of religion and sexuality, and builds on two earlier established elements of the story: the Catholic altar rails and the Garden of Eden comparison. Here, the placement of "railing" between "falling" and "fall" strongly suggest and foreshadow the boy's coming fall from innocence.

"rusty bicycle-pump..."   (Araby)

The rusty bicycle-pump has been hailed as one of the treasures in Joyce's work. The rust on the pump represents the passing of time: the comparison of the priest's garden to Eden as After the Fall reinforces Joyce's position that the time of the Church has passed. He also foreshadows the boy's confusion of religion and sex by positioning the phallic, rusty bicycle pump within the garden.

"a central apple-tree..."   (Araby)

Joyce's inclusion of an apple tree is a reference to the Garden of Eden from the Bible. Since the story of the apple involves Adam and Eve falling from grace by eating forbidden fruit and having their "eyes opened," the inclusion of this allusion helps provide context and foreshadow the events later in "Araby." In particular, pay attention to how many times Joyce uses the word "fall," especially around the end of the story.