In both “Araby” and “The Dead,” the protagonists experience a singe moment in which a significant matter of their lives is suddenly illuminated, bringing understanding from a new and deeper perspective. In both stories, such epiphany had not been understood until this final point. James Joyce uses plot chronologically to build up the anticipated epiphanies.
They are founded on the rising climax of both the protagonist’s interior processing and external obstacles. Both Modern and Post-Modern literature uses the technique of switching from external factors to inner states of consciousness to build up characters and their plot. The achievement of foreseeing the end of both “Araby” and “The Dead,” is also due to the close third person point of view Joyce uses. Without this approach, there would be no clear comprehension of the inner thoughts and concerns that drives the character development and the chronological plot. These processes combined reach a pinnacle in the illumination of human experience, epitomizing the full potential of the epiphany at the end of the stories. In “Araby,” the narrator has an infatuation with his friend Mangan’s sister, but cannot make up the courage to speak to her.
Although the thought of her is out of reach in his mind, he eventually finds himself facing her and confessing that he will get her a present from the Dublin Bazaar. As he anxiously awaits the opportunity at winning her love, he comes across several obstacles that lead him at the end of the festival with no courage to buy what is left. The emptiness of the final scene makes him timid, and discouraged; He sees his arrival at the bazaar as it is closing down as the end of any relationship he would have with Mangan’s sister.
As the external obstacles are faced, they affect the narrator internally, and his hope is suddenly shattered. As buying something is the last obstacle to overcome, a wave of uncertainty comes over him and…