Poetic Short Fiction

Despite being an author of prose, James Joyce’s works of fiction embody certain aspects of modern poetry.  “Araby” is a story of a boy who falls in love with one of his friend’s sister.  This love story matches the typical subject of a modern poem.  The description and details the author chose also make the short work poetic.  “Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side” is an example of a line that creates an image in the reader’s head of what the narrator is seeing (Joyce 2219).  “Araby’s” analogies and personifications also make it poetic.  For example, in the opening paragraph, the author describes the dead end in which the narrator lives as “being blind (Joyce).”

In “Eveline,” the author also uses poetic techniques to write a short work of fiction.  Just as in “Araby,” Joyce writes on the common subject of modern poetry, love.  In this story, a young lady of nineteen has been given the responsibility of taking after her dad and brothers after her mother’s death; however, she has met a sailor that wishes to take her to Buenos Ayres and make her his wife.  In the final few paragraphs, the couple is attempting to board the ship that will take them to Buenos Ayres.  Eveline’s “hands clutched the iron [rail] in frenzy;” however, and refused to follow her sailor.  At his attempts to get her to follow he is met with “her white face . . . passive, like a helpless animal (Joyce).”  These last few paragraphs paint a picture in the reader’s head of a woman fighting between running away for love or staying with what she has always known.


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