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James Joyce's "A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man". The Assignment Was To Write A Well Thought Out Comment On Each Chapter Of The Book.

1361 words - 5 pages

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man begins with the reader being taken through Stephen's developing life and his conscious thought. The reader is tossed around inside Stephen's head and we learn about the character from the inside. Although I find the stream of consciousness aninteresting way to explore Stephen as a character, I believe it makes the book difficult to comprehend. As we are lead through Stephen's experiences at school I sympathize with the various situations that he encounters.Stephen's character is easy to relate to because as children we all experience some of the same challenges that he faced.We learn that Stephen is a very sensitive young man and he prefers to contemplate and intellectualize interactions with his classmates rather than play sports. Stephen is a very good student and he seems to get along withall of his schoolmates except for Wells the bully. Even though Wells pushedhim into a filthy ditch and taunts him about kissing his mother Stephenminds his father and does not tattle on him. Through this action we learn of Stephen's pride and courage.As we follow Stephen's journey through childhood we learn about hislove for beautiful things. He contemplates his place in this world and the enormity of God. Stephen was upset with himself for not knowing more about politics and "where the universe ended." He felt "small and weak". Ithink that Stephen was a sad and lonely young man for examining such complex and lofty topics at such a young age. I relate to Stephen being homesick and the feeling of not fitting in with my peers. I also count the days until I will see my family on holidays.Through Joyce's imagery we explore Stephen's most basic senses like sound, smell, touch and sight. Stephen is fascinated with the sounds he discovers when opening closing the "flaps" of his ears. Stephen contemplates words that sound strange to him like suck and wine. Hedescribes smells like the "cold night smell in the chapel", "smell of air and rain and corduroy." These words arouse memories and in turn conjure up that smell in the readers mind. Stephen sees the colors of the badges with the different color roses and his imagination carries him away. He ponders the possibility of green roses. The sense of touch is examined with Stephen's fascination of things hot and cold. All of these senses are not only thediscoveries of a child but of a developing artist.In the second chapter of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Stephen'simaginative nature flourishes. He fantasizes about Mercedes in The Count of MonteCristo. Even though Stephen enjoyed his adventures with Aubrey Mills and the boysfrom the neighborhood he found great comfort in being alone. "The noise of the childrenannoyed him." Stephen listened intently to his elders conversations and he felt he waspreparing himself to take part in meaningful conversations when his time came. Myimpression of Stephen is a young man that feels disconnected and isolated form his peersand later he...

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