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"A Portrait of an Artist As a Young Man Essay Sample"
A Portrait of an Artist As a Young Man Essay Sample
Raymon Androckitis
James Joyce's novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man gives an account of Stephen Dedalus's struggle to understand and then reject from family, church, and nation in order to become an artist, thus allowing him to embrace his interests.

In the beginning Stephen is portrayed as an object in a story, a character (baby tuckoo) in his father's narration. Stephen is the very young child whose story is being created by others. Stephen's life is shaped by his parents and a character rooted in a story he didn't create. When in Clongowes Wood College Stephen is victimized by being knocked down by schoolmates and beaten on the palms by a prefect. Stephen is speechless at Christmas dinner which in turn portrays and reemphasizes his lack of independence and self-confidence. By the end of chapter one, however, Stephen becomes independent by protesting his palm-whipping by the prefect.

At the end of Chapter Two, the increasing isolation Stephen feels as the result of his family's sudden poverty, which lays the foundation for his future involvement with a prostitute and in turn breaks his ties with the Catholic Church. Stephen's movement toward isolation is exemplified when Stephen declines an offer to join the Jesuits; and additionally coming to terms that his family must move because they cannot pay the rent. Stephen later wanders alone on the beach meditating on the meaning of his life.

Chapter five commences Stephen's ties to family, church, and nation. Stephen leaves the house and leaves behind the economic and spiritual poverty that induced his isolation. When in Catholic university, he scorns a dean for his lack of knowledge, attends a boring physics class, and chooses not to partake in a political gathering for its worship of hero and nation. Finally Stephen converses with Cranly that he will leave...

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