The theme of Araby lies in the simple and common experiences that are had during youth. The theme is not indicative of a bigger picture and does not have any moral or religious statutes behind it.
The story Araby is a simple youthful story that follows the woes of a young boy while he is trying to find himself during youth. He goes through passionate moments, frustrations and joyous times of youth. The difference in this boy and others that are often characters in books is that the boy is living during a harsh economic time. One could conclude that the economic time was similar to the Great Depression felt in the United States, although the story never gives an exact time or place where it is happening.
The author of the story is always sure to include details of the bleak surroundings and the hopeless outlook of the economy. These surroundings and troubling facts are used throughout the book to sit parallel with the way that the boy is feeling as he struggles to grow up. The main character in the story is often lonely and is constantly looking for ways to pull himself out of the isolation caused by both his youth and the harsh economic times.