A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man : Role of Epiphanies Essay

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man : Role of Epiphanies Essay

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A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man will always be an inspirational book in the world of Post-Modernist literature. This book is one is which paved the road for books just like it, not only breaking free from the expectations of society but also warming our hearts by following the early stages of life of young Stephen Dedalus. This semi-autobiographical story is a symphony of subtle epiphanies, which are expressed through innate underlying structure, which only a true devotee to post-modernist literature could thoroughly enjoy. As we travel through Stephen's mind over the years, we encounter many signposts that foreshadow the conflicts that are to take place later on in the book. As early as eight or nine years of age, while spending his days being watched by his uncle (41-45), we start to see changes to a chapter in Stephen's life, where he will have to take a step into the unknown in order to go through to his life long desire of becoming an artist.

Although there are many previous scenes in this book that foreshadow Stephen's decision to choose the life of beauty over his strict Catholic upbringing, deep thought and desire should be taken into consideration, while Stephen bends down on one knee to pray with his uncle. (42) Stephen cannot comprehend for what reason his uncle is praying for and disrespects his piety by not having faith in his prayer. This scene has many different interpretations and is very strong in underlying context, while precisely symbolizing Stephen's upcoming rebellion against the church. While this thought of Stephen's is very
complicated and defined, it still maintains an aspect of innocence and curiosity that only a child could be capable of possessing. This is definitely what be an outsider's...


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age what he needs in order to life his life happily, he constantly finds himself in unfavourable dark situations, bringing out the irony of his story in full force, while he struggles to find his spotlight.

Amongst all the unfortunate happenings and wrong decisions Stephen had mad in the past, he is able to find hope when he sees the bird girl (123), while carrying his wreath as a symbol of his dying religion and faith. The beautiful woman on the beach renews Stephen's presence in the world and reinforces his decision he had made in the past, and gives him the consolidation he had been waiting a lifetime for. The series of subtle epiphanies draws out Stephen's life a he finally lets go of the dark burden around his body and transforms himself into an artist for the first time, being reborn into the world through the mirthless beauty of the bird girl's womb.

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