The Social And Historical Context Of A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man And My Son

1436 WordsNov 8, 20156 Pages
In this essay response I shall discuss the social and historical context of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and My Son the Fanatic and how they enhance our understanding of the texts and then compare the two in their respective contexts. Religious extremism is a social ideology that is heavily implemented into both A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and My Son the Fanatic. With Steven Dedalus being subjected to his traditional family views of Catholicism as was the author of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce. Throughout the text Stephen is subjected to religious extremism, particularly in Chapter 3 when he attends Arnall 's sermon, while on a religious retreat, in which he learns of Hell and sin, beleiving that 'God had allowed him to see the hell reserved for his sins 'and that the sermon is directed at him. This leads him to a part of his life where he followed the Catholic faith to an extreme degree, much like in My Son the Fanatic, whereby Ali devotes himself to the Muslim faith. At the time of publication, 1916, Ireland had seen events such as The 'Easter Rising ' in which Catholics rebelled against the British and the Protestants in a bid for independence. This mix of both the need for Independence and religious extremism are elements that we see portratyed through Stephen. Knowing this information we can see that Joyce portrays not only his own struggles with religion and independence using this method but also the conflict found

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