Books and Movies Reviews

Coming of Age

Both Araby by James Joyce, and A&P by John Updike, are similar in that they discuss the coming of age of young men who are infatuated with the opposite sex. Both stories discuss the universal theme of boys entering manhood and the maturity with which each young man leaves the last stage of his adolescence and steps into adulthood. Both of the narrators of James Joyce's Araby and John Updike's A&P are young boys who experience disillusionment in their ideals.However, there are many different factors that contribute to their respective struggles with coming of age.
The main character of Araby is a young boy just coming into his middle teens.He comes from a religious upbringing, lives in a quiet neighborhood and is extremely respectful of his elders.He loves to read, as is evident by his liking "The Memoirs of Vidocq" (Joyce 728) and enjoys cherished, passed down literature as "its leaves (have become) yellow (pg. 728)" over time.He is also a good student, except when his thoughts are occupied by his best friend's sister who also lives in his neighborhood.He is infatuated with her "Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance (pg. 729)" but he is clearly shy because he makes it known that he "did not know whether I would ever speak to her (pg. 729)" Instead of approaching her, he "watched her from our shadow peer up and down the street. Every morning I lay on the front parlous watching her door.The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen (pg. 729)." He is also very u!
ncertain of his feelings and his "confused adoration (pg. 729)."
Yet, he is very clear in his actions of being polite.He withstands the "gossip of the tea-table (pg. 731)." instead of leaving for the fair.He nicely asks his uncle to give him money to go to the bazaar and patiently waits until he is excuse…


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