Risks In Araby 'And A & P'

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Niv Shahmoon Mrs. Joyner American Literature Honors 11 April 2015 Risks within “Araby” and “A&P” Question: Are risks worth taking if they end in failure? Life is filled with risks and brutal disappointments. Contrary to the optimistic view of life, maybe there isn’t a prize at the bottom of the “Cracker Jack” box. Maybe there isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The human experience breeds understanding, and that understanding is that sometimes life sucks and you get punched in the gut. Most of the hardest, yet beneficial, lessons in life result from failure when taking a risk. The short stories “Araby” by James Joyce and “A&P” by John Updike tackle two different situations that result in the opportunity of taking a risk. Both…show more content…
His failure results when he gallantly quits his job when he witnesses three bawdy and bikini-wearing teenagers get kicked out of the store. In haste, he quits his job “hoping they’ll stop and watch me (Sammy), their unsuspecting hero,(Updike).” He runs into the parking lot expecting the teenagers to notice his act of bravery, only to be left lonesome. When Sammy states, ”my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter, (Updike)” he realizes that all he gained from this risk are ambiguous, unanswered emotions and trepidation for what his future has in store for him. Sammy risking and ultimately quitting his job lead to his realization of how hard life is about to get for…show more content…
is so deep The narrator in this case risks revealing his profound love and admiration for his friend’s sister. He describes his love for Mangan’s sister as if his body “was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers upon the wires (Joyce),” which exemplifies his connection and “confused adoration (Joyce).” The goal of getting a gift at the bazaar for her is so blinding and strong, that even when his uncle comes late to give him the money, he continues. This is yet another risk we see the narrator take, the risk of the store and whether or not it will be open in time. He makes his way all the way to the bazaar with his six pence in his pocket, and he does not buy anything. The narrator leaves with nothing other than seeing himself “as a creature driven by vanity (Joyce).” His risks ultimately lead to his demise, dismay, and

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