Araby Historical Context

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While Dublin, Ireland, has seen change since the turn of the twentieth century, when Joyce wrote "Araby," many of the conditions present then remain today. In 1904, all of Ireland was under British control, which the Irish resented bitterly. The nationalist group, Sinn Fein (part of which later became the Irish Republican Army—the IRA), had not yet formed, but Irish politics were nonetheless vibrant and controversial. The question of Irish independence from Britain was one of primary importance to every citizen.

Ireland's major religion, Roman Catholicism, dominated Irish culture. Many families sent then-children to schools run by Jesuit priests (like the one the narrator in "Araby" attends) and convent schools run by nuns (like the one Mangan's sister attends). Folklore, fairy tales, and homespun stories—told and retold for generations—provided a common form of family entertainment. Many turn-of-the-century stereotypes about the Irish came from their...

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This section contains 525 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Araby Study Guide
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Araby from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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