Themes in Araby
Arguably the central theme throughout the story is loss of innocence, both in the narrator’s belief in religion and his understanding of romance. His religious training led him to place all his faith and devotion in Mangan’s sister, but upon the unsuccessful conclusion of his quest for her gift he realizes that the journey and his infatuation were all for naught. Intertwined with this theme about the loss of innocence is the theme of idealism. The narrator is overly-idealistic about his adoration of Mangan’s sister, and this extends further to his idealism about Araby. This idealization only makes the narrator’s imminent fall more painful and highlights the manipulated way he has been taught to view religion and, subsequently, the world.
Themes Examples in Araby:
"Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger...." See in text (Araby)
"I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled..." See in text (Araby)
"These noises converged in a single sensation of life for me..." See in text (Araby)