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A&p and Araby Essay

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A&P and Araby Essay

Throughout works of literature there is often a time in which a character goes through an experience that may cause them to go through a sudden realization of something. This sudden epiphany or realization about life is clearly described in the short story A&P by John Updike as well as being portrayed in the short story Araby by James Joyce.

In A&P Sammy comes to realize that he does not have a chance with the girls he had been watching in the A&P where he was working. Although he had been teased and in a sense led on, he later goes through an epiphany and comes to a realization of previously being teased and made fun of by the girls in the store. This epiphany ended up happening after he proceeded to quit his job in hope that the girls would for some reason be outside or waiting for him. Sammy also realizes that life will be tough for him if he continues to act like he had acted with the situation in the A&P. In a sense he also realizes that by paying so much attention to the girls that he had lost out in the long run. This sense of losing out is brought upon by the losing of his job at the A&P

Araby has a similar situation in which the narrator is attracted to a girl as well as in A&P. In this case the narrator had promised the girl that he is infatuated with that he will return from his trip to Araby with a gift for her. After days of not focusing in school because of this girl, who is referred to as Mangan's sister, he finally makes it to Araby but does not purchase the gift he had put so much time into thinking of. He realizes that Mangan's sister is not thinking of him and that he is not as important to her as he thinks she is to him. There is also a sense of losing out in Araby by the narrator. He did not pay attention in school because he spent all his time thinking of Mangan's sister and would not pay attention to anyone else because of the fact that he would be thinking of when he would return from Araby with the gift for Mangan's sister and what he would get her.

Often in literature characters experience an epiphany or come to a realization about life. This was seen in both short stories A&P by John Updike where Sammy came to realize that life will be much harder if he continues to behave in a manner that he had previously done and in Araby by James Joyce where the narrator came to a realization that Mangan's sister had not been thinking of him while he had spent days thinking of her and thinking of what he should buy her at Araby. In this case both short stories had a similar situation involving the main character being attracted to a female and realizing that he had made a mistake.

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