The story uses the word “blind” to draw attention to the narrator’s naiveté and isolation. He begins by describing the dead-end street where the narrator lives as “blind,” with the narrator’s house being a lone abandoned house at the blind end, set off from the other houses. This isolated house foreshadows the narrator’s later isolation from his friends, as he loses interest in playing with them and watches them play in the street from the upstairs window. The narrator also recounts watching for Mangan’s sister from the front parlor, with the blind pulled down so she cannot see him. The narrator is figuratively blinded by his infatuation with Mangan’s sister. He loses sight of everything else in his life, namely his studies and his friends, because he is so busy fantasizing about her.
The word “blind” also emphasizes the anonymous nature of the characters in the text, as only two of them are given names (Mangan and Mrs. Mercer). The lack of identity and physical description of most of the characters leaves them anonymous and forces the reader to focus on the other details given in the text, most of them related to the setting. It also allows the reader to alter the narrator’s identity – perhaps in him they see themselves, or James Joyce, as many critics have called this is a semi-autobiographical work.
Blindness Quotes in Araby
North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbors in a square ground.