In James Joyce’s short story “Araby” and Nino Ricci’s short story “Going to the Moon”, the main characters are younger children, but they each go through this three-stage process to be more self-aware by the end of the story.
The first step of becoming self-aware is the realization that you are not like everyone else. This realization forces the individual to separate from their comfortable environment and discover personal feelings. Joyce’s story begins on a small street, North Richmond Street, in a small area of town in which life seems relatively bland. In the image of his friend’s older sister, the narrator becomes separated from the rest, suddenly solitary as “every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlour watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen” (Joyce). In describing his actions, the boy is undoubtedly alone and isolated as he encounters new feelings and impressions that are completely new to him. This is similar to the way that the narrator of “Going to the Moon” feels in his school as he tells his audience “I had the sense that we were both of us merely interlopers at school, moving uncertainly through a world that refused to admit us” (Ricci). Both of these boys must watch the world from a point of isolation from the crowd.
However, in both stories, the protagonist is encouraged to take action regarding their feelings. In volunteering to bring something back for her from Araby, the boy in Joyce’s story begins the journey into understanding expected behaviors as well as the realities of the consequences. The narrator describes the ordeal he endures waiting for the day determined for him to go to the fair and then the turmoil he experiences as he waits for his uncle to return home so that he can get the necessary money. After this lengthy build-up, he is expecting Araby to be a magical land where glorious things might be obtained and ...
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