At the heart of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man lies Stephen Dedalus, a sensitive young man concerned with discovering his purpose in life. Convinced that his lack of kinship or community with others is a shortcoming that he must correct, Stephen, who is modeled after Joyce, endeavors to fully realize himself by attempting to create a forced kinship with others. He tries many methods in hopes of achieving this sense of belonging, including the visiting of prostitutes and nearly joining the clergy. However, it is not until Stephen realizes, as Joyce did, that his true calling is that of the artist that he becomes free of his unrelenting, self-imposed pressure to force connections with others and embraces the fact that he, as an artist, is fully realized only when he is alone.
Stephen is painfully aware of his difficulty relating to others early on— the other boys at his first school mock him about his name and his family; his body feels "small and weak" amongst the other boys’ on the football field; he is pushed into a ditch. (Joyce, 246) Frequently, Stephen appears to mentally separate from himself and observe himself from outside Earth’s confines; he writes a progression of "himself and where he was" that reads "Stephen Dedalus…Class of Elements…Clongowes Wood College…Sallins…County Kildare…Ireland…Europe…The World…The Universe". (Joyce, 255) Though Stephen demonstrates by this list that he is all too aware of his own self and his technical place in the universe, his need to solidify this awareness to himself reveals his uncertainties about how he relates to his surroundings.
"With a sudden movement she bowed his head...
... middle of paper ...
...dom and power of his soul, as the great artificer whose name he bore, a living thing, new and soaring and beautiful, impalpable, imperishable". (Joyce, 433) Stephen is now fully able to create from within himself, without being dependent on others to feel whole. This is accentuated by Joyce’s description of the beach scene— "He was alone. He was unheeded, happy and near to the wild heart of life". (Joyce, 433) Stephen the artist is alone and needs to be alone, not to search in vein for companionship that, even if attained, could only drag him from his newfound freedom. This realization of self-fulfillment and self-control is the single defining point in Stephen’s education; it is the brushstroke that completes the "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man."
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: New American Library, 1991.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The pandying scene from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is, in many ways, fairly typical of a coming-of-age story. A child or young adolescent discovers himself in a situation in which he is in conflict with the adults around him, and the situation resolves traumatically for the child. What is unusual about Stephen's experience is that he refuses to allow Father Dolan, a person of clear authority, to have the last word. By going to the rector and asserting his right to be treated fairly, humanely, and justly, Stephen as an artist-to-be reclaims authority over his own conscience.... [tags: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man]
711 words (2 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)
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Silence, exile, and cunning."- these are weapons Stephen Dedalus chooses in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. And these, too, were weapons that its author, James Joyce, used against a hostile world. Like his fictional hero, Stephen, the young Joyce felt stifled by the narrow interests, religious pressures, and political squabbles of turn-of-the-century Ireland. In 1904, when he was twenty-two, he left his family, the Roman Catholic Church, and the "dull torpor" of Dublin for the European continent to become a writer.... [tags: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man]
2430 words (6.9 pages)
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is considered to be one of the finest works of literature of all time. Herbert Gorman, an author from the early twentieth century, stated that "so profound and beautiful and convincing a book is part of the lasting literature of our age," and with good reason. The main character of the novel, Stephen Dedalus, is a complex and dynamic youth, and one who undergoes vast changes during the course of his life.... [tags: Portrait Artist Young Man]
913 words (2.6 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)
- Soul of the Artist in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man As James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man unfolds, protagonist Stephen Dedalus' personal vision grows closer and closer to that of an "artist." Stephen attempts throughout the story to understand the inspiration he receives while being tormented by influences that seem to distract him. Stephen's thoughtful approach to his experiences, brings him through his tormented youth to a refined understanding of his feelings about art.... [tags: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man]
2952 words (8.4 pages)
- The Artist in Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man and Pink Floyd's The Wall Foragers, the people who live in hunter-gatherer societies, have no artists. It is only when society becomes complex enough to support a division of labor do artists emerge-first as shamans, then as the painters, singers, writers, etc., that we usually think of today. Society, then, creates the artist, but it can also destroy him. In A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man, James Joyce describes the particular development of Stephan Dedalus that led to his becoming an artist.... [tags: Portrait Artist Young Man]
1790 words (5.1 pages)
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Artistic Development A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man had various themes which covered many areas. The primary theme of the novel is the artistic development of the artist, Stephen, and this relates specifically to the artist’s development in the life of a national language. Stephen experiences many voices of Ireland as well as those of the writers of his education. Out of all these voices emerges Stephen’s aesthetic theory and his desire to find his own manner of expression.... [tags: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man]
608 words (1.7 pages)
- James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a novel of complex themes developed through frequent allusions to classical mythology. The myth of Daedalus and Icarus serves as a structuring element in the novel, uniting the central themes of individual rebellion and discovery, producing a work of literature that illuminates the motivations of an artist, and the development of his individual philosophy. James Joyce chose the name Stephen Dedalus to link his hero with the mythical Greek hero, Daedalus. In Greek myth, Daedalus was an architect, inventor, and artisan. By request of King Minos, Daedalus built a labyrinth on Crete to contain a monster called the Mino... [tags: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man]
2903 words (8.3 pages)
- The Esthetic Theory and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus defines beauty and the artist's comprehension of his/her own art. Stephen uses his esthetic theory with theories borrowed from St. Thomas Aquinas and Plato. The discourse can be broken down into three main sections: 1) A definitions of beauty and art. 2) The apprehension and qualifications of beauty. 3) The artist's view of his/her own work. I will explain how the first two sections of his esthetic theory relate to Stephen.... [tags: Portrait Artist Young Man]
1409 words (4 pages)
- Comparing the Search in Plato's Allegory of the Cave and Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio
- Transformation of Milkman in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon
- Essay on Technical Qualities, Symbolism, and Imagery of Dover Beach
- Essay on Picture of Dorian Gray: The Character of Lord Henry Wotten
- Orlick as the Dark Side of Pip in Dickens' Great Expectations
- Creating Other Worlds in Fly Away Peter