Man Essay, Research Paper
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Essay Jame Joyce+s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is in reality a portrait of Stephen Dedalus, the book+s main character. It is from Stephen+s point of view that the reader sees the world and this point of view changes as Stephens development changes. Stephen+s journey from a young sensitive child to a rebellious young man is the central plot of the novel. Throughout A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the reader is exposed to many different aspects of Stephens personality, those aspects can in many ways be contradictory. Stephen is fearful and bold, insecure and proud, lonely and afraid of love. For example, Stephen is a romantic at heart. He often daydreams about swashbuckling heroes and beautiful heroines while at the same time Stephen is too shy to kiss the young lady he has a crush on. As the novel progresses and as Stephen ages we see him |fall from graceX and turn to prostitutes. Stephen is many times timid and considered the outsider, being bullied by his classmates. Then Stephen gains the courage confront and question authority. Much as life is today, Stephens family life is nothing if not interesting. Although Stephen loves his mother, yet eventually rejects her by rejecting her Catholic faith. As all children Stephen is taught to respect and admire his father, yet he can’t help but see him as a failure. Even in his own family structure, much as at school Stephen feels as if he is the outsider and is never comfortable in the family setting.
The force that eventually unites these contradictory Stephens is his overwhelming desire to become an artist, to create. At the novel’s opening we see him as an infant artist who sings “his song.” Eventually we’ll see him expand that song into poetry and theories of art. In fact, the name that James Joyce chooses to give his main character is in many ways symbolic of Stephens personality. His first name, Stephen, comes from St. Stephen while his last name, Dedalus, comes from the great inventor of Greek myth, Daedalus. At the book’s end he has made art his religion, and he abandons family, Catholicism, and country to worship it. In conclusion, Stephen+s journey from a young from a child to a young man is the central plot of the novel. Jame Joyce+s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is in reality a portrait of Stephen Dedalus and in some regards, perhaps a portrait of James Joyce himself.