A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
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In the novel, repeated patterns of sounds and remembrances of tastes, touches, and smells are all emphasized.
He also uses dramatic irony to identify Stephen's basic conflicts and emphasize significant events in his life. Although several themes such as alienation and betrayal exist in the novel, Ellman states that Joyce originally recognized the work's main theme as "the portrait of the renegade Catholic artist as hero.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - fortyfivedownstairs
The most obvious clue that the author's life is related to the novel's thematic development exists in the hero's name — Stephen Dedalus, which combines significant elements of both Greek and Christian myths. Joyce's hero identifies with his patron's martyrdom by recalling an early reprimand against marrying a Protestant, the unjust pandying incident, and a variety of instances wherein he was ostracized or made to feel guilty by his peers and older people. It is, however, the author's choice of his character's family name — Dedalus — which reveals to readers the source of the novel's greatest thematic parallel.
The myth of Daedalus and Icarus, the story of the cunning Greek inventor and his ill-fated, impetuous son, is the framework responsible for the major imagery and symbolism which pervade the novel. Daedalus, an architect commissioned by King Minos, designed an elaborate labyrinth in which the king planned to confine the monstrous Minotaur.
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However, ill-fortune soon caused Daedalus and Icarus to be imprisoned in the labyrinth, from which they were forced to contrive a daring and ingenious escape. Symbolically, Stephen, like Daedalus, feels compelled to find a means of escape from the labyrinth of Dublin, which threatens him with spiritual, cultural, and artistic restraints.
Similarly, Stephen can also be compared with Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, melted his fabricated wings, and plunged to his death in the sea. Like Icarus, Stephen ignores the warnings of family and clergy and is symbolically drawn toward a philosophical illumination which ultimately casts him into sin spiritual death and leads him to renounce his Catholic faith.
The final and most dramatic parallel associates Stephen with his mythic namesake Daedalus — the "great artificer. At the end of the novel, Stephen is imaginatively soaring — in flight away from Ireland toward a future of unfettered artistic freedom.
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Start Quiz. Adam Bede has been added to your Reading List! Brothers and sisters in Shmoop, let us take a moment to bow our heads in appreciation of some of the fine things that draw upon the glorious wellspring of innovation that is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. And also blogging.
And a seemingly endless pantheon of mega-classic 80s teen movies. Oh, and anything to do with Harry Potter. However, we can see some shreds of his influence. Yes, Hollywood sure learned a lot from James Joyce and other writers like him , whether it knew it or not. For whatever reason, the oppressed young artist was so hot during the Reagan presidency. One of the things Potterheads love to rave about is just how very clever J. Rowling was for developing her famous plan for the books to increase in reading level as the characters get older.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Sound familiar? Anyway, now that Joyce is probably spinning wildly and furiously in his grave, we rest our case. Re-Joyce and be glad. All rights reserved.