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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Stephen is clearly different (or perceives himself as different) from the people that surround him. What do you think creates this difference? Is it something innate, or does he construct it himself?
  2. All of the characters with any depth in this novel are male. What role do women play in Stephen’s world? Do you think he could have a fulfilling relationship with a real girl?
  3. How important is the idea of Ireland to the novel? Is its "Irishness" necessary for what it ultimately accomplishes, or does it just add a bit of local color?
  4. Would the novel be as effective if any characters other than Stephen were fully fleshed out?
  5. Do you, like Stephen, think an artist is essentially separate from society?

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