Stephen grows up in a family that is Catholic, with his mother and nurse Dante, being the most devout; this sets up the tension between Stephen’s double calling to art and theology. From early on we see the world through the eye and mind of young Stephen and realize that he has a very imaginative mind. While his father tells him a story, his imagination kicks in, and he thinks, “He was baby tuckoo. The moocow came down the road where Betty Byrne lived: she sold lemon platt” (3). Stephen already shows the artistic qualities that he will continue to develop on his journey to manhood. Stephen also has his first exp...
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...rt, in the same way if he indulges in sexual pleasures he it too would take away from his capability to create. Stephen has the final epiphany in the end when he sees the young woman alone on the beach. They stare at each other without exchanging words and Joyce writes, “Her eyes had called him and his soul had leaped at the call. To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life!” (213). Here Stephen knows that he has to create art out of the beauty that surrounds him. Throughout the text the narrative sets up the artist as the hero, and the priest as living a life of torment and boredom. Thus, reflecting that art is higher than religion as it allows one to experience the beauty of the world and creatw and recreate works of art.
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Viking, 1964. Epub.
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