The color brown is used repeatedly to symbolize the dullness of everyday Dublin. The houses are brown, and even Mangan’s sister is described as a “brown-clad figure,” perhaps indicating that it was common to dress in brown clothes. Brown is used to emphasize how unexciting and oppressive Dublin is for the narrator in every way, both visually as well as in the everyday occurrences.
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The timeline below shows where the symbol Brown appears in Araby. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...19th/early 20th-century Dublin, on North Richmond Street, a blind (dead-end) street on which stand several brown houses and the Christian Brother’s school, a Catholic school for boys. The street is quiet,... (full context)