es of short stories that together unfold different stories of life and death . The first three stories, The Sisters, An Encounter, and Araby are said to be about the moments of growth and of realizations of the boy-narrators. The three of them, in fact, conclude with the awareness of the protagonist of being trapped in the visual world of print.
The first story, The Sisters, is about a boy who is constantly being trained by a priest, Father Flynn, to memorize and practice the mysteries of the Churchs rituals. When the boy realizes that the priest has passed away he shows no kind of mournful emotions, instead he shows a feeling of freedom. I wished to go in and look at him but I had not the courage to knock… I found it strange that neither I nor the day seemed in a mourning mood and I felt even annoyed at discovering in myself a sensation of freedom as if I had been freed from something by his death. ( Joyce, Dubliners 5-6)What he had felt freed from was always being under the constant supervision of the priest to do what he felt was righteous.
It is not until the end of the story that the boy realizes from one of the Sisters, Eliza, about the priest madness as well as his physical and spiritual paralysis. He understands that the priest had been a living his life in a way he felt would be satisfying to the church which eventually led to his death. When The boy is finally able to see the priest he has a moment of truth and understanding. He understands that his world is the same as the priest, he relies on the books of the Church and his own eyes for information. He believes that it was the way the priest was living his life that made him become crazy and the young boy does not want the same for his life. By the end of the story the boy comes to realize that he has learned a great deal about life from his older friend and is thankful for the time he was able to spend with him.
The second story titled, An Encounter is very similar to the the story Sisters. Again, the boy narrator is tired of being trapped in the world of books. He believes that there is much more to learn that what is learned inside the classroom. He believes the real lessons in life should be learned in the outside world. School for the narrator is seen as a strict structure where the education is taught according to what adults want them to learn. So instead of going to school he decides to learn through adventure and romance he has read about in his cowboy novels. The adventures related in the literate of Wild West were remote from my nature but, at least, they opened the doors of escape. I Like better some American detective stories which were traversed from time to time by unkempt fierce and beautiful girls. (15) He skips school often and hopes to live some of the stories he reads in his Wild West books. During one of his adventures he meets an old man who resembles Father Flynn with his wise words and his physical appearance. He tells the narrator and his friends that he wishes he was young again and that they should not waste their time. Instead they should take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. He said that the happiest time of ones life was undoubtedly ones schoolboy days and that he would give anything to be young again. The boy narrator much like the narrator of the first story only takes the old mans wise words for granted. He only pretends to listen until he gets bored and scared and tells the old man that he has to leave. Like any other young boy he will come to realizes in the long run that what the man said was true and until then he will remain only a young foolish boy.
The third Story the Araby, the boy narrator also again attracted to books by Walter Scott. He is secretly in love with his friends Mangans sister. He also tries to live in the stories he reads in his romantic tales. He fantasizes about her all the time and hopes that all his dreams would one day come true. He pretends he is the hero of a romantic tale and escorts his lady love to safety. Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance…. We walked through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women… The young boy wants to go the the city fair and so he goes by himself. While he is over there he also has a moment of truth. Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger. At this moment the boy believes that he could never get the girl of his dreams because he believes he is ugly.
The character that obviously seems to appear repeatedly is the boy narrator. Through the three stories we see him realize something very important in his life. In the first story his realizes that all life must come to an end and to live as life as it makes you happy. In the second story the boy realizes that things arent always what they seem and you cant keep running away from things you dont like. And finally in the third story the young boy realizes that people arent perfect and must deal with rejection sometimes in life. In all three stories the young boy has some kind of of older man giving them advice. And all three of them are trying to live their lives through books they have read but soon they realize that they have to live life as it comes to them and they cant make their lives fit some kind of story tale……..