James Joyce

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The narrator’s uncle Character Analysis

The narrator’s uncle is an authoritative figure who seems to incite a bit of fear in the narrator and his friends, as they routinely hide from him when they see him coming home for dinner. The text implies that he might have a drinking problem and seems to owe money to Mrs. Mercer, the pawnbroker’s wife. The narrator’s uncle lets the narrator down on the night of the Araby market, by returning home late and drunk and attempting to avoid giving the narrator a coin to spend at the bazaar before finally relenting.
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The narrator’s uncle Character Timeline in Araby

The timeline below shows where the character The narrator’s uncle appears in Araby. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...– is now illuminated with light from the kitchen windows. When they see the narrator’s uncle coming home, they hide from him in the shadows. (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Escapism and the Exotic Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
On Saturday morning, the narrator reminds his uncle that he wishes to attend the Araby bazaar that night. He leaves for school in... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...goes back downstairs, Mrs. Mercer, the pawnbroker’s widow, is there. They wait for the narrator’s uncle to arrive for over an hour and Mrs. Mercer leaves, saying she cannot wait any... (full context)