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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

Romantic

Character Role Analysis

Emma

In her role as Stephen’s beloved, Emma is elevated and held at a distance. Emma, as conceived by Stephen, remains a remote and impossible ideal for the greater part of the book – we don’t see her in action until the last few pages. The concept of the beloved is so abstract for Stephen that we don’t even get a description of her beauties or inner qualities; Stephen’s "love" for her is so intellectualized and aestheticized that it’s practically theoretical.


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