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Loss and Human Truth in Araby and Counterparts

In the stories “Counterparts” and “Araby” Joyce focuses on small moments of human truth related through the theme of loss. Although Joyce writes about the recognition of human truth through loss he does not pursue an exploration of them, merely leaving them to be seen for what they are or could develop into. In the short story “Araby” Joyce relates the loss of a Romantic interpretation of the protagonists view of existence. While in his short story “Counterparts” Joyce explores the mounting and inevitable accelerated downward spiral of the loss of identity. Both stories relate that through loss one can gain a glimpse into a human truth. However Joyce further shows the futile nature of human truth by leaving the protagonists in their own moments of decay. In the two short stories “Araby” and “Counterparts”, Joyce creates (in the protagonists) isolation through a disjointed creation of existence. This perception of an altered existence leads to an inevitable, created mission in the mind of the protagonist.The hero from “Araby” relates to the world in Romantic terms. “Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.” (p.198) He has immortalized the object of his affection as a distressed maiden who requires the salvation of a heroic knight. Similarly the protagonist of “Counterparts,” Farrington, is a lost man without a strong definition of self. The only insight given into his portrayed character is that of a “strong man” (p. 232) in which he prides himself. The opinion of his friends is how he essentially defines himself. Farrington was not able to define his own self so he interprets and becomes his friends definition, which therefore creates his own existence. An existence founded on that of his society.In the story “Araby,” Joyce makes two references to bli...

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