Comparing Araby And Updike's Short Stories

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A young teenage boy’s romantic emotions overpower him as he naively faces the internal conflict of falling in love at a young age. This situation occurs in both short stories. Joyce’s “Araby” and Updike’s “A&P” portray a similar theme throughout that shows a boys absolute infatuation for a girl and the struggles he faces trying to win her over. Both stories dig deep into the ambiguous mind of an adolescent who encounters one of life’s most strenuous lessons. In “A&P” and “Araby”, both characters are in search for something that will somehow fulfill an empty hole in their lives and make things interesting. They quickly make erratic decisions for a girl they hardly know, then both end up alone and suffering from the consequences. Both Sammy and the boy in “Araby” devote…show more content…
His fascination is also apparent “…just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light” (295). Sammy more or less notices only the enticing features of her body and is mesmerized physically rather than emotionally. With Sammy unable to focus at the cash register and the boy in “Araby” being completely captivated, these two stories are similar in the way that both main characters are enticed by the women resulting in the men doing anything in their power to becoming their hero. Both boys feel as if its their responsibility to make the female happy. The boy in “Araby” portrays this when he fantasized “I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes” (108), describing his abnormal obsession of putting the girl on a pedestal and making her fall in love with him. The same goes with Sammy in A&P when he quit his job after the girls were humiliated by his boss because of the lack of clothes they were wearing. It wasn’t long before both boys came to realization that it wasn’t actually worth it, finding themselves feeling empty and

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