It continues with the ages-of-life structure: we have had young boys for our protagonists in both "The Sisters" and "An Encounter," and here we have a boy in the throes of his first passion. Similarly, the young protagonist of this story leaves his house after nine o'clock at night, when "people are in bed and after their first sleep," and travels through the city in darkness with the assent of his guardians.
He rethinks his romanticized ideas of love, and with shame and anger, he is left alone in the bazaar. The lights are being shut off, and the narrator despairs: "Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.
Taken from his Dubliners collection the story is a memory piece and is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator who is looking back at an incident that happened when he was younger.
Like the narrator of "An Encounter," this protagonist knows that "real adventures.
Joyce using the lack of light as symbolism to suggest a lack of movement or clarity for the narrator. The boy has arrived too late to do any serious shopping, but quickly we see that his tardiness does not matter.
Where are the parents?
The namelessness of all three boys also encourages interpreters to identify them with Joyce, although from an interpretive point of view this move does little to illuminate the stories.