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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

James Joyce

Chapter 1
Omniscient narrator but from Stephens (limited) point of view Stream of consciousness Emphasis on senses other than sight touch, smell, sound Stephen conscious of himself as smaller, weaker different from the other boys

Sensitivity to sentences, to feelings, colours all marks of his artistic nature Ambiguous feelings of guilt at various emotional reactions Stephen discovers that society (Dante, the older boys) will castigate him for emotional reactions (wanting to marry Eileen, kissing his mother)

Shying away from confrontation (the maths sums, contest between York and Lancaster), Stephen escapes into a daydream of wild roses, of a world of texture and colour The two main poles of conflict are nationalism (politics) and religion, introduced in Stephens mind at a very young age

Consciously arranges his own identity his place in the world by ordering the way he writes in his notebook There are some conflicts he cannot escape from, however, politics and religion being the most important feels unable to cope

Works with opposing symbols - hot/cold, dark/ light, Associations lead Stephen to connect apparently disjunct experiences and events Epiphany - a small climax or revelation When Stephen understands the 'Tower of Ivory' reference in relation to eileen's white hands.

Stephen's need to eventually escape the stiing demands of nationalism and religion can be traced to these early experiences and memories. The choice of name for the main protagonist is a thematic unifying of Christian and Greek myths, where Stephen was the rst martyr to die for his faith and Dedalus the Greek craftsman who was imprisoned in the masterful labyrinth he himself had made

The themes of ight associated with Stephen therefore clearly remind us of Dedalus' son Icarus, who ew too high, (towards artistic/ philosophical illumination) and died, eventually signifying Stephen's spiritual death when he renounces his faith.

Religion for Stephen is either associated with guilt or mindless repetition The inrmary literally becomes a space for mists - for those who don't t into conventional society.

The Christmas dinner marks the end of Stephen's innocence in many ways At school when he hears about the seniors punished for homosexual activities, his mind wanders to the dark and solemn atmosphere of the sacristy Thinking of the litany of the Virgin, Stephen begins to think of language as art, not merely as medium

After being unfairly caned, the walk to the Rector's ofce is compared to a labyrinth His classmates cheer and hoist him up - this is the happiest moment for Stephen Asa he is accepted by his fellows, and the symbolism of ying expresses his feelings

Chapter Two

The family has now moved to Blackrock Stephen goes on walks with his father and Uncle Charles, being now more easily accepted in adult company Reading The Count of Monte Cristo, he revels in the language, the spirit of adventure and romance which make him yearn for them to be manifest in his own life.

First he builds a physical replica of the imaginary world of the novel, then sees it in his imagination. P 65 the imaginary ideal world starts getting a stronger hold on him, he knows he will be 'transgured'.

Here we can see the development of Stephen's mind and body as he enjoys a carefree summer The chapter marks his growth from approx 11 to 14, the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. The initial part of the chapter describes Stephen's running, enjoying physical exercise, it ends with his initiation into sexual experience.

P70 his rst forays into creative writing imitative of established and romantic poets, he diggers between romance and politics His disappointments have begun - he is aware that his father is responsible for the family's dwindling prosperity, their move to a depressing part of Dublin and his shortcomings as a role model.

He enjoys wandering around the streets but is increasingly becoming more solitary and alienated He is also confused by his growing sexual maturity and feelings of physical desire

We can presume that he tries to do well academically in the new school to compensate for his embarrassment about his family's poverty Despite becoming popular and a leader, participating in the school play, he remains a loner and tormented by the desires of his soul, both sexual and artistic. Reacts badly to ordinary nesting about his feelings, and also to allusions about his father.

As a child Stephen is still comfortable with his father and uncle even though he may not understand or agree with everything they say, at the end he is disappointed and sullen as he is disillusioned with the adult world. First upset is when he learns that Father Dolan, The Rector and his father all enjoyed a laugh at the story of his encounter with the Rector post his caning

As two years go by Stephen starts to do well academically Accused of heresy in an essay, he is secretly lled with a 'vague and malignant joy' at his writing being noticed Argues with school mates about poetry

This is the age at which he looks for models of adults - there is an awareness of social and ideological forces that are shaping his growth, which he wants to escape from, to ee into his imagination from p 84

Going with his father to help him dispose of the last of the family property, he is lled with disgust at his father and disappointed in him. At the college (94) he realizes that he is not the only one to have sexual thoughts, nor to feel the way he is feeling now His imagination immediately makes the past come alive

P93 his own past like a story comes up in his mind The chapter ends with Stephen's rst sexual encounter with a young Dublin prostitute, who brings together his conicted views on women and creation and sin - she is young, but calls him 'rascal' and in his encounter, he experiences a joy and fulllment that many actually use to associate sex with creativity.

Chapter Three

His upbringing and conditioning make his aware of his sexual activities as sin, and now having sinned once, he considers that he is slipping irrecoverably down the slope of lust and sinfulness He tries to demystify his religion, to come to terms with his appetites - for food, sex, money

The rst day of the retreat makes Stephen convinced he is a complete sinner He sinks further in his 'gluttony' and sees himself as less than human, as bestial 111. His mind conjures up vivid pictures of death, doomsday and hell, he feels shame for every sinful thought he has had, for degrading the girl he loves with lustful thoughts. Convinced he is going to hell, that his soul is damned. He knows he is guilty of original sin, of pride, of being separate and different.

Tortured by the words of the priest, by the strictures and conventions of his religion, Stephen literally sees and feels himself as damned, as a lost soul - 138

After the three days of suffering (Jonah and Jesus), Stephen is ready to confess, to renew his faith and attain a state of grace. Signicant that he chooses Mary, known to be more tolerant of sinners than the Father, and wants a life of beauty, grace and virtue.

Chapter Four

Stephen now re-dedicates his life to piety and religion He is invited by the head to discuss a life of priesthood

Joyce mocks his own turn towards religion He tries to overcome all his appetites, doing without his senses, trying to conquer his failings Slowly, beginning with anger, his physical 'weaknesses' re-assert themselves

He begins to doubt his own redemption Tries to hold on to the changes in his life Disappointed when the conversation with his head about dedicating his life to God revolves around manipulation and worldiness rather than religious discourse

Negative images of the head as he tries to convince Stephen of a life of religion Hangman, cross, blinding him with power rather than piety Stephen walks towards his father's home, perhaps choosing a life of secular family rather than religious power

At home he sees that his family has to move yet again, due to his father's nancial problems The young children try and pretend to be happy but they are careworn and distressed.

Stephen may have crosses the bridge away from religion towards secular life, but both 'father's' have betrayed him He realizes that in order to live his own independent life, he must abandon both the discourses of family and religion and forge his own identity Decides to go to University

His friends playfully address him as Daedelus, reminding him of his archetypal calling. He must free himself of the labyrinth of expectations and conventions, and create an independent and original path He has a moment of epiphany, linking the image of the young girl with religion, creativity, and romantic/sexual desire.