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Finding the True-self in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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Through the course of a man's life, he will continually change until he becomes himself or his true self, at least according to most Native American cultures.  Oddly enough, in James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, this is the case even though the story is set in Ireland around the time before the Independence in 1922.  This book, one of Joyce's masterpieces set in the sometimes hard to follow "stream of consciousness" manner of narration has been hailed as both controversial and typical of it's time and place.  In both cases, Joyce was called a "ground-breaking" author and this semi-autobiographical piece is truly a hallmark in English Literature.  So what makes a masterpiece?  Critics say it's because it follows the Classical example of character development that tells of the coming of age of a particular individual and surely this book is no special case.  Interestingly enough, through the ending of each chapter, Joyce shows the variegation of one young man, Stephen Daedalus from one form to another, yet these "pieces" contribute to t...

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