How Sense of Disillusionment is Used in Literature

Sense of disillusionment is a thematic Modernity/Modernism characteristic and can be found in James Joyce’s story “Araby”. The story is about a boy who wants to go to a bazaar called Araby. His uncle comes back late to the house and gives him money. So, the boy is allowed to go to this bazaar. What happens at the end is that the boy is disappointed. How this characteristic is used throughout the story is in a way that the boy talks, dreams about this exotic and illusory things that he will find at the bazaar, and what happens is the opposite.

“Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger” (p.2127). It could be concluded when a person is disillusioned it is normal to be angry and filled with anguish. Those are the new feelings rising in the heart of this boy. The reason for that disillusion can be found in the following sentence. “The syllables of the word Araby were called to me through the silence in which my soul luxuriated and cast an Eastern enchantment over me” (p.2170).

In fact, he understood the world around him in a different way, and when he got to the bazaar, he realized the truth and that is that he is a vain person. Another example of the magic about this bazaar is the following sentence. “In front of me was the large building displaying the magical name” (p2171). How this characteristic is used in the text is in a way of describing and more and more raising the magical and exotic picture of the bazaar, and how that picture at the end breaks into pieces. It is important that the boy is not an adult and he sees the things differently. It is in a way very well described and a reader has a vivid picture of all the things mentioned in the story.

This characteristic is used in order to bring back the boy to the earth and show him the reality. The disillusionment does not come only from the disappointment at the bazaar but also from the fact that his uncle comes late at home and he is drunk, plus this boy lives with his ant and uncle, not with his parents. So, in a way this characteristic is used to show also the disappointment from the social life.

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