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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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(ENG4U) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 12/10/2010 Moe Balkis A Portrait of the Artist as Young Man represents James Joyce's attempt to capture the perceptions of a young boy in Ireland. Throughout Joyce's writing, he reveals how ones moral blindness can develop a central character and stimulates his everlasting destiny in becoming an artist. It is precisely this quality that leads Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist of this soothing novel to his segregation from his family, church and nation. Firstly, He's enrolled in a college where he starts to form theories of becoming an artist and begins to drift away from his family. Similarly, learning to be completely devoted to religion and then abandoning it to pursue a life as an artist. Finally, watching Stephen slowly disunite from his nation to succeed in fulfilling his everlasting destiny in becoming an artist. However Joyce's character Stephen Dedalus, undergoes many of crucial phases that tears him apart from his religion, drifts him away from his family, and alas separates him from his nation for the sake of a life as an artist. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen begins to drift away from his family which leads to his characters isolation and moral blindness that engage him in becoming an artist. ...read more.


At first Stephens involved in a competition in class called the war of the roses, he was the white rose and his teammate was the red rose. "White roses and red roses: those were beautiful colors to think of. Perhaps a wild rose might be like those colors, and he remembered the song about the wild rose blossoms on the little green place but you could not have a green rose. But perhaps somewhere in the world you could" (p.24). Joyce demonstrates how Stephen might be ignoring the politics and history of Ireland but only focusing on the beauty of it. However this feeling for beauty makes Stephen wonder whether a rose could possibly be green, which is the traditional color of Ireland that symbolizes the nationalist community. H.G Wells from the New Republic Online thinks by far Joyce's writing is "the most living and convincing picture that exists of an Irish Catholic upbringing". Joyce shows how Stephen relates Ireland's history to beauty and art. He's gradually developing a character that will help to fulfill his destiny in becoming an artist. Likewise Joyce's character in the end feels the urge to do something for his country, but he wants to free it through art, not politics or religion. Stephen says "No honorable and sincere man . ...read more.


In Conclusion, In a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Joyce establishes what happens when the truth becomes revealed, as in what happens when the true colors of Stephen come through. He uses concrete imagery rather than vague abstract words to describe his character. Stephen throws out his relationship with the past and no longer corresponds to it .He now experiences life as an independent person. Stephen is confident that in the near future, he will find his artistic voice somewhere out there but outside of Ireland. Through Joyce's demonstration of Stephens Moral Blindness in his attempt to gain after all a life as an artist, he effectively reveals that going against self identity, and not reaching after what you desire, can result in the pursuit of your everlasting destiny. Allen Rush from the Modern Word thought that "In Portrait, we are essentially given a window into Stephen's consciousness, and the whole world is unveiled to us through that single aperture. The narrative prose follows and reflects the stages of Stephen's intellectual development. It swoops when Stephen is high; it crashes when he is brought low. It congeals in the murky muddle of a Jesuit lecture, and it skips and stutters and swirls when chasing the thoughts of an awakening poet. Like Stephen, it can be beautiful and bombastic, witty and self-pitying." ?? ?? ?? ?? 6 ...read more.

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