Why is this incident touching to me? Because in any normal circumstances it would have been impossible for good feelings ever to be re-established between this boy and myself. The implied accusation of theft would not have been made any better, probably somewhat worse, by my efforts to make amends. One of the effects of safe and civilized life is an immense oversensitiveness which makes all the primary emotions seem somewhat disgusting. Generosity is as painful as meanness, gratitude as hateful as ingratitude. But in Spain in 1936 we were not living in a normal time. It was a time when generous feelings and gestures were easier than they ordinarily are. I could relate a dozen similar incidents, not really communicable but bound up in my own mind with the special atmosphere of the time, the shabby clothes and the gay-coloured revolutionary posters, the universal use of the word ‘comrade’, the anti-Fascist ballads printed on flimsy paper and sold for a penny, the phrases like ‘international proletarian solidarty’, pathetically repeated by ignorant men who believed them to mean something. Could you feel friendly towards somebody, and stick up for him in a quarrel, after you had been ignominiously searched in his presence for property you were supposed to have stolen from him? No, you couldn't; but you might if you had both been through some emotionally widening experience. That is one of the by-products of revolution, though in this case it was only the beginnings of a revolution, and obviously foredoomed to failure.
Joyce's short story "Araby" is filled with symbolic images of a church. It opens and closes with strong symbols, and in the body ofthe story, the images are shaped by the young), Irish narrator's impres-sions of the effect the Church of Ireland has upon the people of Ire-land. The boy is fiercely determined to invest in someone within thisChurch the holiness he feels should be the natural state of all withinit, but a succession of experiences forces him to see that his determi-nation is in vain. At the climax of the story, when he realizes that hisdreams of holiness and love are inconsistent with the actual world,his anger and anguish are directed, not toward the Church, but to-ward himself as "a creature driven by vanity." In addition to the im-ages in the story that are symbolic of the Church and its effect uponthe people who belong to it, there are descriptive words and phrasesthat add to this representational meaning.