A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

1664 Words Dec 20th, 2014 7 Pages
In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus grows out of a repressive society fueled by religious beliefs to realize his true desire to be an artist. In Ireland at the time, there is no influence as strong as religion but somehow Stephen is able to look over the wall and find determination to be an artist. He faces numerous struggles along his path and since the novel ends with Stephen just deciding to take his action, it is unclear if he even ever escapes the religious influences. James Joyce uses strong comparisons and direct allusions to the myth Daedalus and Icarus to recount Stephen Dedalus’s experiences in his many complex life journeys towards what may have lead him to become the artist he dreamed to be. In Dublin in the early 1900s, religion was a large influence over all of the citizens. Stephen was a victim to forced beliefs from the moment he was born. As soon as Stephen was of age, he was sent out to boarding school just like all the good other children of Ireland. Here, he was told to study religion so that one day he would be able to properly serve God. However, with the mind of an artist, he found beauty in other places besides the Church. He would read his books and think of the plain sentences as beautiful and inspirational poetry. Stephen, even at this early age, was able to look beyond the strict religious covering around Ireland and think for himself. At this time in Ireland, the “individuality of the inhabitants... had been subsumed in a…
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