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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 Analysis

Literary Devices in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The association of flight with Stephen’s experience stems from his affiliation with Daedalus. As we mentioned elsewhere, Daedalus was known for creating wings of feather and wax; this is the...

Setting

Dublin is necessary to this book. It’s inextricably tied to Stephen’s discontentment and to his sins; immersion in a bustling, often squalid urban space heightens Stephen’s (and o...

Narrator Point of View

The narrative voice of Portrait of the Artist is one of its most spectacular features. Joyce was a pioneer of the stream of consciousness technique, which is a style of writing in which the narrato...

Genre

This book is a truly classic and often-cited example of the Coming of Age novel. The whole deal with this genre is that it shows us the development of a character or set of characters through their...

Tone

Joyce’s tone is consistently lyrical and teeters on the edge of poetic throughout the book. His exuberant prose is what makes this novel such a joy to read – seriously, even if you̵...

Writing Style

"Free indirect discourse" may sound all fancy, but it’s really just another way of saying that the narrative voice transfers between characters’ minds and the outside world of the novel...

What’s Up With the Title?

This title works on a few levels. First of all, it is quite simply a portrait of an artist. Second, it is a not-so-subtly-hidden of the artist, James Joyce himself. Third, the title places the book...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes– Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII, 18This line from Ovid’s (a big shot Roman poet from the 1st century CE) Latin poem translates to, "And he applied his spi...

What’s Up With the Ending?

This is going to sound cheesy, but it’s a heartfelt cheesiness, so just bear with us here. The end of Portrait of the Artist is not an end at all – rather, it’s a beginning. The b...

Plot Analysis

Early Childhood (Chapter One)We meet Stephen as a very small child, barely capable of putting together a coherent stream of thought. Chapter One is mostly disjointed and somewhat difficult to reall...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

The night of the Whitsuntide playStephen’s difference and alienation become impossible to ignore. This is where we see him actually deviate from the normal(ish) adolescent track he was on up...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Act I wraps up as Stephen leaves the Whitsuntide play in a tizzy (Chapter Two), thus ending the first period of his childhood, and launching his restless quest for identity.Father Arnall’s br...

Trivia

Portrait of the Artist was adapted from a hefty early work, originally titled Stephen Hero, that Joyce wrote, tried to publish, and eventually abandoned. It was eventually published in 1944, a few...

Steaminess Rating

Though we don’t get a whole lot of detailed action in this book, sex is very present throughout. How could it not be? If you’re inside the mind of a hormonal, hyper-sensitive teenager,...

Allusions

References and quotes from the Catholic Mass appear throughout the text, as do uncountable images of the Virgin Mary..Dante Alighieri (Stephen’s aunt Dante, a recurring character in Chapter One)G...

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