Mapping the Boy's Journey in Araby

I decided to map “Araby” following the boy’s journey down to the Araby bazzar. As I was adding places on the map of Dublin, I realized several things that I hadn’t noticed before. The first thing I learned was that the distance from his home to the bazzar was quite far from each other, and seeing the geographical condition of both places, I could guess that the atmosphere of both places would very different—North Richmond Street, just as Joyce described, being “blind” and “quiet,” whereas the Araby bazzar is across the River, which he described as “twinkling,” and the boy could have a glimpse of the bustling nightlife of the city on his way to bazzar. Another thing I noticed was that the boy moved from North, where his house and school are located, to South, where the bazzar is opening. This physical movement from North to South aligns well with his psychological change because he is emotionally going down from hope and expectation to disappointment, doubt, and hatred. Also, because he had to leave his house after 9 p.m., he is surrounded by the darkness of the night and the silence in a lonely train riding, and with the experience of mapping his journey, I was able to better understand how these outside settings—going South alone at night—amplify as well as reflect the boy’s emotional movement.

I think a mapping of a novel enables the three-dimensional reading of a text. When I was reading “Araby” only from the book, I focused more onto the boy’s emotional journey than his physical movement, which still makes the story great. However, after mapping his journey and seeing with my eyes the geographical difference between North Richmond Street and the bazzar place (+Westland Row Station), I could clearly see how his perception of his love and himself is prompted to go through the gradual degradation by the change of surroundings.