Araby: A timeless Coming of Age Story

still from Joao Dumans and Affonso Uchoa’s 2018 film, Araby

I thought I’d do an image search for my favorite James Joyce story, Araby. Amidst the old drawings and photographs of James Joyce, I was surprised to find this image of a young boy riding a bike. I clicked on it to find out that there is a Brazilian film called Araby.

I tried my hardest to find this movie on a streaming service, but I was unsuccessful, so I will not report on the film itself but moreso the breadth of meaning it encompasses for coming of age fader. The film starts off very similarly to the story, a boy living in a bleak situation apart from his parents and away from the kind of love one would get from parents. He lives in a quiet town and is primed to have a coming of age journey like in Joyce’s story, but he doesn’t fall in love will a girl and attempt to buy her a gift.

Even though I didn’t get to watch the film and instead read a succinct synopsis of it, I have a suspicion of why the filmmakers chose to allude to Joyce in the title. Joyce’s Araby is not about the events, the older girl, or the train ride; it is about growing up and having the blissful, foggy world of adulthood become more clear. That is what the film captures, even though it is more about warehouse workers than buying gifts. The story is a mold for coming of age in feelings of pain and knowing.

Let me know if any of you have seen this film!

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