The greatest novelist of twentieth century, James Joyce, wrote the collection of his stories, ‘Dubliners’, from which the story ‘Arabia’ has been taken, in 1914. The story is about the adolescent love of the narrator who is a young boy and is in love with the sister of his friend, Mangham. The narrator and Mangham are school fellows and study at Christian Brothers School. It is Mangham’s elder sister who is center of interest for the narrator; her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood. She is unaware of the narrator’s love. The boy is perplexed in his feelings for the young girl and his religious fervor. He goes to Arabia to buy something for his beloved. Arabia is the name of the market that has an exotic and oriental theme attached with it. The boy gets late and is able to hear the conversation between a female clerk and her male friends as the bazaar is closing down. He, then, leaves the bazaar with resentment.
Joyce’s story ‘Arabia’ presents the Twentieth century Ireland and the characters of the story arte also representative of the people of Ireland at the time when the story was written. The twentieth century Ireland was under British control which had been resented by the Irish people. Roman Catholicism dominated the lives of the Irish people and there were schools ran by Jesuit Society as there are schools in which the narrator goes and schools where Mangham’s sister goes. The real Ireland is reflected in the setting and characters of Joyce.
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