Dedalus and Daedalus
In James Joyce’s novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce tells
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Dedalus and Daedalus
In James Joyce’s novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce tells us a story of a young man who struggles with who he is and who he is to become. Stephen Dedalus was born into an Irish Catholic family with very strong beliefs. Stephan believes in God and follows the path he is taught. His young life is very doctrinaire, but he believes in his God. He follows the ways of the Church because he does not want to let God down. Later, as Stephan matures, he struggles with this life, his family, and even his Irish culture. He feels he cannot be the man he is expected to be, at least not in the eyes of God. Stephan’s true calling is not that of a priest or of the Church but of an artist. The dogmatic life Stephen…show more content… It is Irish nationalism against the Catholic Church. This makes quite an impression on Stephen. As Joyce writes, “O ̶ he’ll remember all this when he grows up, said Dante hotly ̶ the language he heard against God and religion and priests in his own home (33). This, too, adds to his journey of his transformation.
Back at school, Stephen is unjustly and physically punished causing him humiliation and anger. With the encouragement of his classmates, he musters the strength to sneak to the rector’s office to complain of the unfairness and to avoid future punishment by Father Dolan. This takes a lot of courage, which is not easy for Stephen, but he succeeds. He is now a hero among his fellow classmates; it’s his first small victory.
During the summer, Stephen finds himself living through the characters of The Count of Monte Cristo. This shows his vivid imagination and is relevant to his journey. The family eventually moves to Dublin, to a shabby home, due to his father’s financial troubles. Stephen is able to go to a new Jesuit school, which pleases him. The move is depressing although at Christmas time, he meets Emma, a girl he never forgets. He wants to kiss her but doesn’t have the courage. He releases that emotion by going home to write her a poem.
Stephen begins to mature during his teenage years. He becomes an excellent essay writer, an actor and starts to be accepted by his peers. Stephen feels somewhat independent, although he still feels different. He takes a