A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
by James Joyce
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Language and Communication 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.
– The language in which we are speaking is his before it is mine. How different are the words home, Christ, ale, master, on his lips and on mine! I cannot speak or write these words without unrest of spirit. His language, so familiar and so foreign, will always be for me an acquired speech. I have not made or accepted its words. My voice holds them at bay. My soul frets in the shadow of his language.
Stephen realizes that English will always be the language of the oppressor in Ireland; the Irish people neither created nor accepted it. The problem, then, is what language to speak at all – we later learn that Stephen dropped out of Irish language class.