Books and Movies Reviews


"A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -1914, 1915- draws on many details from Joyce's early life. The novel's protagonist, Stephen Dedalus, is in many ways Joyce's fictional double. Like Joyce himself, Stephen is the son of an impoverished father and a highly devout Catholic mother. Also like Joyce, he attends Clongowes Wood, Belvedere, and University Colleges, struggling with questions of faith and nationality before leaving Ireland to make his own way as an artist. Many of the scenes in the novel are fictional, but some of its most powerful moments are autobiographical: both the Christmas dinner scene and Stephen'sfirst sexual experience with the Dublin prostitute closely resemble actual events in Joyce's life.
In addition to drawing heavily on Joyce's personal life, the novel also makes a number of references to the politics and religion of early-twentieth-century Ireland: the majority of Irish, including the Joyces, were Catholics, and strongly favored Irish independence. The Protestant minority, on the other hand, mostly wished to remain united with Britain. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the young Stephen's friends at University College frequently confront him with political questions about this struggle between Ireland and England.
Today, James Joyce is celebrated as one of the great literary of the twentieth century. He was one of thefirst writers to make extensive and convincing use of stream of conciousness, a stylistic form in which written prose represents the characters' stream of inner thoughts and perceptions rather than render these characters form an objective, external perspective. This technique, used in this novel mostly during the opening sections and in Chapter 5, sometimes makes for difficult reading. With effort, however, the seemingly jumbled perceptions of stream of consciousness ca…


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