From a very young age Stephen is confronted with a culture that is politically tumultuous and religiously devout. The identity of Ireland as a nation apart from England and the potent cultural presence of Roman Catholicism intertwine, influencing ...
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...spection has resulted in an undeniable self-centeredness. While it is this self-centeredness that enables him to be liberated of his past and to embrace his future, the narcissistic qualities also result in his rejection of Cranly’s emotional pleas (when Cranly admits that he is quite lonely and wishes to be “more than a friend” (Joyce 218) to Stephen) and the desires of his elderly mother (she wishes him to take communion). These instances are simply casualties in Stephen’s necessary transformation into a fully formed artist and thinker, whose products may not contribute to personal relations but will almost certainly assist in the constantly evolving, eternal conversation concerning the nature of humanity and reality. Although he gazes chiefly inward, and although he has rejected the religion of his homeland, belief in a creator God is alive and well in Stephen.
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