Araby, by James Joyce, is a tale that examines first love and the confusions that surround it. The epiphany of the story is the boy's discovery that the ideal gives way to the real. This journey is a quick one and the author wastes no time setting the scene and shaping the boy's persona.
In the first paragraph Joyce paints a scene of a dismal reality with his description of the houses and the neighborhood. One thing of interest is that he uses the word "blind" twice in the first two sentences. This is perhaps a foreshadowing of the characters and a statement about the nature of all men.
Right away it is obvious that the girl was the object of his adolescent desires. In fact, he was obsessed with her. He watched her every morning, followed her to school, fantasized about her, prayed, not to God, but to the concept of love and perhaps even to the girl (secretly), and even admits that "her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood" (Dubliners; p.25). There is something mysterious and exotic about her.
Finally the girl, who is "blind" to his love, speaks to him. She asks him if he is going to Araby. He replies that if he does he will bring her a gift. The word Araby
"cast an Eastern enchantment" over him. Now this bazaar is somehow romantic and mysterious. His thoughts are consumed by her and the excitement of getting something for her at this fantastic bazaar.
Up until this point the boy has been in La-la land. He has neglected everything in his day-to-day life and spent all of his time fantasizing. He has been "blinded" by his crush. Now Joyce begins to tear him down. Inside, the boy has this grand idea how everything will be. Instead everything goes miserably. His uncle, "blind" to his needs and anguish, makes him get a late start. The train made an "intolerable delay" and took a long time to get there once it finally started moving. He was alone on the train and for the first time might have started to ...