The the young boy’s’ sexual affections towards

The short story, “Araby” by James Joyce depicts a boys first misguided attempts at love. James Joyce tells a story in which the words carry religious connotations to portray the setting of the story and to describe the young boy’s’ sexual affections towards a woman. By doing this, he outlines the almost negligible difference between the feelings connected with sexuality and religion. The boy being raised in a very religious environment finds this the only way to base his love. The boy later observes that his glorified form of affection does not fit in with the trading off reality of life. As a way to unconsciously advocate his sexual yearning, the boy connects religious significance with his everyday surroundings. He fused his love and obsession for the woman to a religious figure when he uses the words, “Her image accompanied him even in places the most hostile to romance.”, to imply that he views her as pure as the Virgin Mary. As he is roaming the market place with his aunt, he illustrates himself as a knight in a battle field fighting for his lady. “He bore his chalice safely through a throng of foes.” A metaphor is used here to compare the woman to a holy relic. To the boy, his “chalice” needs to be protected from all the distractions of the world. The boy tries to suppress his sexual desires with his religious upbringing when the woman is compared to a charab and he to a harp as, “Her words and gestures were like fingers Tahvilian 1 running upon his wires.” Here he portrays an image of an angelic and pure women having full control over his body, but still conveying his sexual intentions of imagining her stroking him. The boy applies sexual connotations to his words to express his surroundings and confused adoration towards the woman. We see our boy entering a dark, sinful room to act on dark and sinful things. The “back drawing­room in which the priest had died”, is significant in itself. A priest is seen to be very holy and respected, but our priest was not obedient to his vows by not living in poverty. He had books, a house, and left all of his money to institutions to show off his name. The boy is, again, suppressing his sexual attentions through his words when saying, “Through one of the broken panes… the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds.” With this, the reader can see that the boy is imagining him and the woman having sex on a bed, with the “broken panes” symbolizing a woman’s virginity, “the fine incessant needles” representing male genitals, and “playing” illustrating the action of intimacy. As the boy says, “He pressed the palms of his hands together until they trembled…”, we imagine a very holy image of someone praying, but James Joyce uses phallic imagery here to resemble the boy masturbating to his love, expressing a kind of appraisal to the woman as a holy figure when relating praying with this sexual act. The author uses figures of speech to try to set off this allusion of religion and sexuality being connected to communicate to the reader the confusion of love for this young boy. By connecting sexual and religious images, James Joyce is conveying the boys idealistic views on his attraction and love towards the woman. As we reach the end of the story, the reader sees that the boy ultimately has his eyes opened about his unrealistic expectations of what love truly is.