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 endures, and the risks he undertakes merely to set foot towards his vision.
Joyce demonstrates that whether or not Stephen achieved his vision is insignificant to the actual journey itself. First of all, the novel concludes not with the outcome of Stephen's life but with the beginning stages of his journey. "Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead," he writes in the last sentence of the novel. Joyce purposefully ends the book before Stephen's sets off, to emphasize that the process he undergoes to reach that point where he can reject the very foundation upon what his life was based is where the importance lies. The infamous hell scene spans over twenty pages not to frighten the reader as much as to show how difficult it is to even become an artist and fight conformity. All process towards breaking away is lost after the preacher's sermon on hell, as shown in the following passage:
He beat his breast with his fist humbly, secretly under cover of the wooden armrest. He would be at one with others...
... middle of paper ...
...d for his art, seeing that his religion is no good for his heart, he forges a new life and religion for his own, fulfilling his destiny as an artist.
Beebe, Maurice. "The Artist as Hero." James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Text, Criticism, and Notes. Ed. Chester G. Anderson. New York: Penguin, 1968. 340-57.
Ellmann, Richard. "The Limits of Joyce's Naturalism." Sewanee Review 63 (1955): 567-75.
Givens, Seon, ed. James Joyce: Two Decades of Criticism. New York: 1948. 2nd ed. 1963.
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The Portable James Joyce. Ed. Harry Levin. New York: Penguin, 1976.
Power, Arthur. Conversations with James Joyce. Ed. Clive Hart. London: Millington, 1974.
Wright, David G. Characters of Joyce. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1983.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce's novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) is entirely concerned with the development of its main character, Stephen Dedalus. By comparison with Joyce's earlier version, Stephen Hero , we see that he has cut out all extraneous material concerning other characters, and presented a close and detailed account of the development of Stephen's character from infancy to young manhood, the ground previously covered in Stephen Hero being compressed into Chapter 5 of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.... [tags: James Joyce Portrait Artist Young Man Papers]
7241 words (20.7 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)
- 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)
- Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets The spirit of Ireland is embodied in young Stephen Dedalus, the central character of James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Like the Dedalus of Greek myth, Stephen must grow wings so that he may fly above the tribulations of his life.... [tags: James Joyce Portrait Artist Young Man Essays]
3181 words (9.1 pages)
- Stephen Dedalus is the main protagonist and anti hero in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Growing up in the Catholic faith caused many internal and external conflicts for Stephen, starting at a young age. Because of his religious background, Stephen had trouble identifying himself, both religiously and personally. Once he became older, he felt imprisoned by the strict rules of the Catholic church. Because his dream to become an artist conflicts with Catholicism, Stephen had to chose one over the other, causing a world of confusion (Azizmohammadi 162).... [tags: Christianity, Roman Catholic Church]
1074 words (3.1 pages)
- Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni ( March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564) an Italian Sculptor, painter, architect and a poet was probably the most important artist of the epoch of the Italian Renaissance, a period where arts and science changed from traditional to modern. He was the second of five children, whose parents were Lodovico di Leonardo di Buonarrotti di Simoni and Francesca di Neri del Miniato di Sierra. He was raised in Florence, and after his mother’s death he lived in Settignano.... [tags: Biographical, Renaissance man, biography, art]
1261 words (3.6 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)
- 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).... [tags: Papers]
925 words (2.6 pages)
- The Hudson River School The Hudson River school represents the first native genre of distinctly American art. The school began to produce art works in the early 1820s; comprised of a group of loosely organized painters who took as their subject the unique naturalness of the undeveloped American continent, starting with the Hudson River region in New York, but eventually extending through space and time all the way to California and the 1870s. During the period, that the school’s artists were active (c.... [tags: essays research papers]
1528 words (4.4 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)