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James Joyce's Alter Ego - 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.

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Introduction

Brett Clothier 16 December 2002 Mr. Suchman En-451-4th Period James Joyce's Alter Ego 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). ...read more.

Middle

Joyce just uses the events in his life as the basis for what he writes. Everything in his life that he remembers is his selection for his material (Anderson, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Text, Criticism, and Notes 447). There are many occurrences in Joyce's novel which are very similar to happenings in Joyce's life. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, some boys tease Stephen about whether or not he kisses his mother before he goes to bed. All of the boys laugh and make fun of Stephen. In Joyce's life, the same instance occurred: "The snobbish older boys tried to embarrass him about his father's social position and teased him about whether or not he kissed his mother before going to bed at night"(Anderson, James Joyce 16). James Joyce's novel is sometimes thought of as only partly autobiographical. Chester G. Anderson, however, disagrees when he says "As autobiography, the work has an almost terrifying honesty" (Anderson, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Text, Criticism, and Notes 447). There are many similar stories in Joyce's life and A Portrait of the Artist of the Young Man. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stephen's father tells him the same thing, not to tell on a classmate. In Joyce's life "his father gave him ten shillings, reminded him that his great-grandfather John O'Connell had given him an address at Clongowes to the liberator fifty years before, and told him to never peach on a fellow"(Anderson, James Joyce 15). In the novel, 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. Clothier 1 ...read more.

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