This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Essay On Art In A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

1578 words - 6 pages

Art in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man              

Stephen Dedalus' philosophy of art, expressed in his discussion with Lynch in Chapter Five, seems essentially romantic, yet the novel is written in a very realistic mode typical of the twentieth century. This apparent inconsistency may direct us to one way of interpreting this novel. Dedalus' idea of art may be Romantic, but because his world is no longer the world of the Romantics he has to see art more as a fundamental validation of his own being than as a communication of a special vision.

Two aspects of Romanticism figure into this analysis of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. First, the Romantics' defining belief in some connection between the human spirit and some higher purpose, and their belief in art's capacity to serve as the vehicle to connect the human with the divine, is the philosophical underpinning of Dedalus' esthetic theory. Second, however, the Romantics also believed that they were communicating in the words of the people, to the hearts of the people, and this Dedalus cannot quite believe he can do. He senses inchoately that communication of the Romantic vision to a modern world is impossible.

Therefore, Dedalus' difficult coming of age as an artist, and perhaps Joyce's, records the essentially romantic, Platonic soul, struggling to emerge from the oppressive realities of the mundane world. The Platonic soul has to reject that world because it is not divine, as the Romantics rejected the Enlightenment scientific worldview, but whereas the Romantics of Wordsworth's age could believe their role was to communicate this truth through poetry to "the people," Stephen Dedalus can only withdraw from the world into abstruse theory, or a loathing of society's ugliness, or else a complete rejection of everything his society represents.

Dedalus (thus also Joyce) has a split vision. His view of art is Romantic, but his view of the role of the artist is Realistic.

The Romantic View of Art

The Platonic-Romantic aspect of Dedalus' esthetic philosophy is apparent in his reference to Plato, whose idea of beauty and truth as translated by Dedalus, sounds much like the famous last lines of Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn": "'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,'&emdash;that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." Dedalus says of Plato, "'Plato, I believe, said that beauty is the splendour of truth'" (208). Plato's own philosophy held tightly to the notion that the world is only a mundane copy of Ideal Forms. This is reflected pretty clearly in Dedalus' analysis of the "esthetic emotion" as "static": "'The esthetic emotion . . . is therefore static. The mind is arrested and raised above desire and loathing'" (205). The mind's being "raised above" the mundane is nothing other than the function that Plato envisioned for philosophy&emdash;to allow us a glimpse of the world of divine forms, which ordinary experience, seeing only the mundane and mortal,...

Find Another Essay On Essay on Art in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Essay on Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man and The Wall

1828 words - 7 pages The Artist in Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man and Pink Floyd's The Wall       Foragers, the people who live in hunter-gatherer societies, have no artists. It is only when society becomes complex enough to support a division of labor do artists emerge-first as shamans, then as the painters, singers, writers, etc., that we usually think of today. Society, then, creates the artist, but it can also destroy him. In A Portrait of

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Religion

1037 words - 4 pages A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Religion as Repression Like his protagonist, James Joyce was an Irish Catholic. He was also sent to Clongowes Wood College to board and study as a young boy. In effect the story is in part an autobiography of Joyce's own life up to the age of twenty or so (Kershner 6). In his essay A Portrait as Rebellion Norman Holland states: Because of Portrait's peculiar combination of novel and autobiography, I feel

A "Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man" Analysis

1379 words - 6 pages figure is: the man of his name, Dedalus. In the last few pages Stephen writes to Dedalus, his true father figure. "Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead"(225). Old artificer refers to Dedalus, of Greek mythology. On the last page Stephen writes to Dedalus, his true father figure. Stephen looking back over his life and realizing who his true father is helps him to soar and finally become a true artist.Work Cited:Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

5843 words - 23 pages pervert, possibly a homosexual known to many in Joyce's Dublin. An old man, he tells them tales about young girls and finally about boys being whipped. His sadistic pleasure at torture comes as a shock to the narrator. He finally notices that the man has 'bottle-green' eyes. Through the image of these 'green eyes' Joyce suggests that it is this absolute sexual Other that he had been both tempted and frightened to 'encounter'. Instead of an escape he

James Joyce's Alter Ego in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

1462 words - 6 pages James Joyce's Alter Ego in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Works Cited Missing In James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus, a young man growing up, has many of the same traits of the young James Joyce. For example, "On 1 September 1888, at the age of 'half-past-six', Joyce was taken by his parents to be enrolled in the finest Catholic preparatory

Literary devices used in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"

887 words - 4 pages Joyce has used the name Daedalus as a literary vehicle to give the reader a sense of deeper understanding about Stephen as a character in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man ". There is a link between Stephen Dedalus and the Greek mythological figure Daedalus and this becomes apparent to Stephen when he hears his friends say his name in Greek. When Stephen compares himself to the "fabulous artificer" their similar plight reveals itself. The

Religion and Its Effects on Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"

1177 words - 5 pages Religion is an important and recurring theme in James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Through his experiences with religion, Stephen Dedalus both matures and progressively becomes more individualistic as he grows. Though reared in a Catholic school, several key events lead Stephen to throw off the yoke of conformity and choose his own life, the life of an artist.Religion is central to the life of Stephen Dedalus the child. He

Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

3116 words - 12 pages Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Albert Einstein was publishing his theory of relativity. The classic example of relativity has two sets of scientists, one inside an elevator and one outside. Both are given the task of seeing what it is that makes the scientists in the elevator stick to the floor when the elevator is travelling up. The scientists in the elevator say that it is gravity that is pulling them towards the floor. The scientists on the

Imagery and Maturation in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"

1559 words - 6 pages for an enhanced reader experience. It is important to note his use of imagery to mature the character of Stephen throughout the novel, and how they influence Stephen’s behavior as he explores his sexuality, struggles with accepting religion and, and attempts to understand his calling in life beyond school. The story relayed in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, centers on Stephen Dedalus, a young Irish schoolboy in the early 20th century

Conflicting Desires in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

794 words - 3 pages In the story, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, written byJames Joyce, the main character Stephen Dedalus has many encounters withwomen. Women and sexuality are major influences on Stephen's adolescentlife. Another major factor that has an influence on Stephen's life is theChurch. Women and sexuality conflict with the Church and its beliefs, andthat is one of Stephen's major problems thus far. Stephen is having a verybig identity crisis

Stephen's Spiritual Development in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

1025 words - 4 pages A Tortuous Path: an examination of Stephen's spiritual development in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Joyce divides A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man into five chapters. At the end of each chapter exists somewhat of a revelation, or a climatic moment and realization that Stephen has. These five poetic moments in the novel mirror Stephen's artistic and spiritual development, as he gradually shifts from being brought up in

Similar Essays

Essay On The Artist As Hero In A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

1313 words - 5 pages The Artist as Hero in A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man        A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce is a partly autobiographical account of the author's life growing up.  The novel chronicles the process through which the main character, Stephen, struggles against authority and religious doctrine to develop his own philosophies on life.  Stephen is not necessarily rebelling against God and his father as much as he

Essay On Kinship In A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

1533 words - 6 pages Search for Kinship in Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man       At the heart of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man lies Stephen Dedalus, a sensitive young man concerned with discovering his purpose in life. Convinced that his lack of kinship or community with others is a shortcoming that he must correct, Stephen, who is modeled after Joyce, endeavors to fully realize himself by attempting to create a forced

A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man Essay

764 words - 4 pages James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which takes place in late 19th century Ireland, is a modernist Bildungsroman about Stephen Dedalus, a young man who, while facing the obstacles of his family, religion, and nation, tries to discover his life's purpose. Throughout the novel, Joyce takes the readers through Stephen's labyrinthine life, using techniques such as epiphanies, betrayals, and central images. One of the three

Essay On Stephen’s Heroic Quest In Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

3035 words - 12 pages Stephen’s Heroic Quest in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man        ...His mother said: -O, Stephen will apologise. Dante said: -O, if not, the eagles will come and pull out his eyes.   This utterance, which comes at the climax of the short first passage that Joyce presents to us, defines the heroic quest that Stephen (and/or his latent identity as mythic Daedalus) must undertake. He is, in this instance, bound