A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

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In the class reading of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, we analyzed the life of Stephen Dedalus in relation to his family and to women, and the varying roles they play. From his point-of-view, we watched the shifting dynamic in his family and his struggles with relationships with the rest of the people around him. Analyzing Stephen’s coming of age from such a perspective, that of a virtual stranger, shaped the conclusions that were drawn as well as the life events that were deemed significant. This observation of Stephen’s growth, as an outsider looking in, created a barrier of sorts between his life and our interpretations, which skewed our analysis to be less considerate of other aspects of Stephen’s character or the events that…show more content…
“His father told him that story: his father looked at him through a glass: he has a hairy face…His mother had a nicer smell than his father” (Joyce 3). Despite the lack of cohesion and the erratic turn of thought it is easy to determine that Stephen is extremely interested in his father, who he describes in detail; however, his relationship with his mother is more ambiguous as she is only described in comparison to Stephen’s father.
Joyce further reveals Stephen’s views on his female counterparts in relation to himself with his innocent comment regarding his neighbor, Eileen Vance.
“When they were grown up he was going to marry Eileen” (Joyce 4). Even at this young age Stephen has a somewhat of a grasp on the roles of men and women in his life. Women are an almost abstract concept to Stephen for much of his youth. He is more aware of the “idea” of women then their actual self, and this carries into his life as a young adult. Reading this particular part of the book as Stephen’s friend, we would no doubt have the same child-like views. In fact, as his friend we would see more of his feelings and be privy to more of his thoughts regarding his father, mother, and Eileen.
Politics are another determining factor in Stephen’s growth as a young man. One of the most prominent exhibitions of the turmoil of politics played out on Stephen’s
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