In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the author James Joyce uses the development of Stephen from a sensitive child to a rebellious young man to develop the plot of the novel. In this novel, Joyce suggests that through Stephen's experiences with religion, sexuality and education, Stephen not only becomes more mature but these experiences also inspire him to redefine his world and his understanding of his true feelings about art.
Religion, besides the practical need for food and shelter is one of the most powerful drives in Stephen's life. Religion serves as Stephen's guidance and saviour yet it is also responsible for his tormented youth and distracting him from his artistic development. As a child growing up in a strict Catholic family, Stephen is raised to be a good Catholic boy who will follow the teaching of Catholism as his guidance in his life. The severity of his family is shown when his mother tells him either to "apologise" (4) or "the eagles will come and pull out his eyes" (4). Stephen is taught by his mother to be tolerant when she "[tells] him not to speak with the rough boys in the college" (5). Similarly, Stephen's father also taught him a Catholic quality by telling Stephen "never to peach on a fellow' (6). Evidence of Stephen following the "never to peach" (6) quality is shown when Stephen agrees not to tell on Wells for pushing him into a ditch. However, as Stephen matures into his adolescence, religion becomes his savior rather than his guidance. As Stephen's family condition declines, he sees priesthood as a way to escape poverty and shame. In fact, priesthood is an opportunity for Stephen's personal gain...
... middle of paper ...
...lly as [he] can, using for [his] defence the only arms [he] allow [himself] to use - silence, exile, and cunning" (226-269). By discussing how education affects Stephen from a child to a young man, Joyce has shown the reader Stephen's development as an artist and human being.
The novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is an autobiography of James Joyce who delivers the influential aspects in his life and his artistic development to the reader through the eyes of the fictional character of Stephen Dedalus. In the novel, Stephen's journey to maturation and to become an artist is influenced by his religion, sexuality and education. Yet, Stephen is able to overcome the obstacles result from these aspects and experience his life to its fullest.
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. 1916. New York: Penguin,1993.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- As James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man unfolds, the central theme of isolation and rejection becomes evident. From birth to adolescence, the protagonist of the story, Stephen Dedalus, responds to his experiences throughout life with actions of rejection and isolation. He rebels against his environment and isolates himself in schoolwork, family, religion and his art, successively. James Joyce uses Stephen Dedalus' responses of isolation and rejection to illustrate the journey that the artist must take to achieve adulthood.... [tags: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man]
1072 words (3.1 pages)
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man The mind wanders, on occasion, through many processions of thought. When at the beginning of this text, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, I found it difficult to follow young Stephen's meandering thoughts with any semblance of comprehension until I finished reading the novel. I then began to research the novel and Joyce and realized the significance of these seemingly random thoughts. These are the thoughts of a budding artist in infancy.... [tags: Portrait Artist Young Man]
417 words (1.2 pages)
- The Artist as Hero in A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce is a partly autobiographical account of the author's life growing up. The novel chronicles the process through which the main character, Stephen, struggles against authority and religious doctrine to develop his own philosophies on life. Stephen is not necessarily rebelling against God and his father as much as he is finding his own person, creating his own life. He is an artist, not because of the outcome of his life, but because of the process he goes through to achieve that outcome. The artist is a hero because of the sacrifices he makes, the persecution he e... [tags: Portrait Artist Young Man]
1298 words (3.7 pages)
- Opposing Ideals in James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Stephen Dedalus, of James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, is constantly torn by two opposing ideals. One is that which the institution of the Irish Catholic Church imposes on him, and the other is insisted upon by his independent thoughts and feelings. Stephen chooses between these two ideals, and he rejects the religion offered him by his upbringing and early education in favour of individualistic thought.... [tags: Portrait Artist Young Man Essays]
1561 words (4.5 pages)
- Bird Imagery in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man The works of twentieth-century Irish writer James Joyce resound vividly with a unique humanity and genius. His novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, published in 1916, is a convincing journey through the inner mind and spirit of Stephen Dedalus. Portrayed with incredible fluency and realism, imagery guides the reader through the swift current of growth tangible in the juvenile hero. Above all heavy imagery in the novel is the recurring bird motif.... [tags: essays papers]
853 words (2.4 pages)
- ... Much dispirited, Stephen comes to realize that he might have to seek other routines for his life: Disheartened, he raised his eyes towards the slow-drifting clouds, dappled and seaborne. They were voyaging across the deserts of the sky, a host of nomads on the march, voyaging high over Ireland, westward bound. The Europe they had come from lay out there beyond the Irish Sea, Europe of strange tongues and valleyed and woodbegirt and citadelled and of entrenched and marshalled races. He heard a confused music within him as of memories and names which he was almost conscious of but could not capture even for an instant; then the music seemed to recede, to recede, to recede, and from each r... [tags: journey, spiritual, aesthetic]
937 words (2.7 pages)
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Stephen Dedalus - Rebel Without a Cause. His soul had arisen from the grave of boyhood, spurning her grave-clothes. Yes. Yes. Yes. He would create proudly out of the freedom and power of his soul, as the great artificer whose name he bore, a living thing, new and soaring and beautiful, impalpable, imperishable Throughout A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man Stephen Dedalus is persistently portrayed as the outsider, apart from the society he and his family inhabit, connecting with no-one and seeking solitude and isolation at every turn.... [tags: Literature James Joyce Essays]
1514 words (4.3 pages)
- The need for the protagonist, Stephen Dedalus’ artistic expression is emphasized in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Joyce juxtaposes Stephen Daedalus’ creativity with a commitment to his catholic religion while on his odyssey to find his identity. Which calling will he answer to—artist or priest. The text follows the protagonist through both his positive and negative experiences with priests and his early revelations of artistic talents. Stephen is surrounded by financial, political, and religious tensions in his family and reveals to Stephen how paralyzing these influences can be on one’s life.... [tags: Protagonist, Novel]
1556 words (4.4 pages)
- Discuss and consider the role of women in Stephen Dedalus' creative process, how is this reflected in the language and narrative of the novel. From the very first page of "A portrait of the artist as a young man", where Stephen Dedalus writes in simplistic and linear style and uses inarticulate expression and description in his story of the "moocow", to the last where he writes in journalistic form with a vast array of vocabulary and complex language, there is a progression, a maturing, a creative development; and this is influenced by the experiences, relationships and personal growth Stephen goes through as he grows up.... [tags: English Literature]
1807 words (5.2 pages)
- Religion and Its Effect on Stephen in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Religion is an important and recurring theme in James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Through his experiences with religion, Stephen Dedalus both matures and progressively becomes more individualistic as he grows. Though reared in a Catholic school, several key events lead Stephen to throw off the yoke of conformity and choose his own life, the life of an artist. Religion is central to the life of Stephen Dedalus the child.... [tags: Portrait Artist Young Man]
1194 words (3.4 pages)