James Joyce's Alter Ego in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Essays

James Joyce's Alter Ego in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Essays

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James Joyce's Alter Ego in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Works Cited Missing
In James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen
Dedalus, a young man growing up, has many of the same traits of the
young James Joyce. For example, "On 1 September 1888, at the age of
'half-past-six', Joyce was taken by his parents to be enrolled in the
finest Catholic preparatory school in Ireland, Clongowes Wood College,
situated about twenty miles west of Dublin in the countryside near
Clane"(Anderson, James Joyce 15). This is the same school Stephen
Dedalus attends in the novel. This is one of the many ways James Joyce
uses this novel to portray his life. James Joyce's A Portrait of the
Artist as a Young Man can be read autobiographically.

According to David Daiches, James Joyce "...transmuted autobiography
into objective action..."(Daiches). James Joyce wrote an account of
his life and turned it into an interesting story, and also one of the
greatest books ever written. Joyce is letting the reader know all
about himself through this book. Harold Bloom notes " 'A Portrait of
the Artist as a Young Man,' of course, is autobiography…Joyce is
turning himself inside out, spilling forth all the jangled moods that
lie deep in artistic consciousness"(Bloom 38). Joyce brings himself
out in Stephen. Instead of letting the reader know all about himself
through an original autobiography, he simply lets Stephen be his alter
ego and tells his life through Stephen. He lets all his thoughts and
ideas go through Stephen.

It was a troubling time for Joyce when he first tried to write his
life story....


... middle of paper ...


..., one of the most drastic changes of Stephen's
life took place when he met a prostitute. This was the beginning of
the artist's emergence in the novel. Anderson writes about Joyce's
life saying "That spring, at the age of fourteen, walking home from
the theatre along the tree-lined path beside the Royal Canal, he met a
prostitute and began his adult sexual life" (Anderson, James Joyce
24).

There are many similarities in the lives of Stephen Dedalus and James
Joyce. These occurrences are related so closely that it proves Joyce
must have written this novel as an autobiography, and titled it A
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Perhaps this was his way of
showing his flaws and his heroic acts without bragging or being
embarrassed. His objective autobiography truly is one of the great
works in English literature.

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