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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man


by James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Section.Paragraph). Within each chapter you will find unnumbered sections. These sections are separated by asterisks; in our citations, we’ve numbered these sections for simplicity’s sake.

Quote #1

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo…
His father told him that story: his father looked at him through a glass: he had a hairy face.
He was baby tuckoo. The moocow came down the road where Betty Byrne lived: she sold lemon platt. (1.1.1-3)

Stephen can only identify himself through his father’s words. This is Joyce’s attempt to mimic the disorganized interior voice of a child who can’t necessarily locate himself in society yet.

Quote #2

He turned to the flyleaf of the geography and read what he had written there: himself, his name and where he was.

Stephen Dedalus

Class of Elements

Clongowes Wood College


County Kildare



The World

The Universe

A slightly older Stephen attempts to identify his place in the world by his geographic position. We will see him repeat this grounding strategy in Chapter Two.

Quote #3

– No, said Heron, Dedalus is a model youth. He doesn't smoke and he doesn't go to bazaars and he doesn't flirt and he doesn't damn anything or damn all. (2.3.11)

We’re finally allowed a glimpse of how Stephen appears to the outside world. The disjuncture between the "model" outside and his sensitive, discontented interior is jarring, but not exactly surprising – we can’t imagine Stephen going around blabbing about his personal life.

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