The journey of the young boy to Arabia to win the love of his young beloved has been compared to the quest of Holy Grail (French, 1978). He goes to the bazaar with his aunt because of his young beloved. Joyce shows the working class of Dublin through the eyes of the narrator, We walked through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of the laborers and the boy’s mind is focused on one thought only, to get something for the girl, These noises converged in a single sensation for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through the throngs of foes (Joyce, 1999).
The chalice evokes the imagery of holy grail in the minds of the readers. The Grail was the holy cup of Christ in which Jesus had a drink in his last supper (according to the Christian ideology). After the crucifixion of Jesus it was used to collect the drops of the prophet. The Grail had been the center of interest for many kings and knights who have attempted to find the holy cup. Many critics have suggested that Joyce must have been inspired by the imagery of the Holy Grail and that is reflected in his story of the young boy who journeys to find the love of his idealized girl. The narrator is caught in the complex nets of society and must free himself to achieve his individuality. The setting is central to the theme of the story and serves to enhance the feelings of loneliness and alienation of the boy that helps to make the theme clear.
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