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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce), Chapters I-III - Assignment Example

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Far from any ordinary young man, Stephen wonders and ponders about his observations of other people, the church and politics among others. The first…
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Extract of sample "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce), Chapters I-III"

A coming-of-age novel, James Joyce’s novel narrates the experiences of the young Stephen Dedalus and his thoughts about life. Far from any ordinary young man, Stephen wonders and ponders about his observations of other people, the church and politics among others. The first three chapters of Joyce’s narrative give an account of the main character’s journey from being a young boy to adolescence, from the home to school and the people that surrounds him including his peers and his teachers. All three chapters ended in ways that illustrates events in Stephen’s life that are significant in every young man’s life. Each ending of the three chapters demonstrates a turning point in Stephen’s life that leads to his maturity.
From being bullied in school, Stephen suddenly became a hero at the end of the first chapter. This shows how he became a hero in school, where he used to be nobody who ponders on things alone by himself. Being accepted by his peers is what this ending of the first chapter is basically about. Similarly, the same is probably Joyce’s purpose by letting Stephen sleep with a prostitute at the end of the second chapter. Although his action was a result of his rebellious nature against his father, he found acceptance in the arms of a woman, which he actually desires even in the first chapter. Similarly, the third chapter illustrates Stephen’s acceptance of his weaknesses as demonstrated by having a confession and asking for forgiveness. Each of the events at the end of the three chapters occurs as a result of various influences. The main character’s popularity among his peers was achieved because he was urged by his classmates to expose Father Dolan’s unfair beating to the rector, who was kind enough to tell him that he would find a way to solve the problem. His inability to work things out with his father then led him to take comfort in the arms of a woman in chapter two, while the confession of his sins in the third chapter was initiated by himself.
Joyce ended each chapter to show how Stephen is freed from his solidary in the first chapter, from his problems with women, and from himself. With his experiences, Joyce wants to establish how the worldly desires such as social affirmation are significant in attaining peace within oneself.
Works Cited:
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The Electronic Classics Series. 2013.
Web. 1 May 2014. Read More
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