Since the beginning of time to today authors have used religion as a common theme in their writings. It is considered an elusive force, which means something different to everybody. In literature, the central theme religion usually creates the main character in the novel. Religion does not change characters but help them find a higher power spiritually or perhaps to cope with deeper issues. It reveals the true identity of characters personalities and if there the hypocrite of society. In the various novels “The Portrait as a Young Man”, “ Candide”, “ Crime and Punishment” and “ Native Son” the authors use the common theme religion to change and form the main characters of their novel by changing society, themselves and their religious beliefs (thesis).
In the novel The Portrait as a Young Man Religion is an significant and returning theme. Through his experiences with religion, Stephen Dedalus both matures and progressively as he deal with his religious experiences. Although he practices the ways of his Catholic school, he dares to be different and choose his own life which is a life of an artist. We first see his religious experience was at the beginning of the novel when he was being raised as a good Catholic man who told “Pull out his eyes, Apologise, Apologise, Pull out his eyes” (Joyce). These harsh words begin to shape Stephan’s childhood in boarding school. As he leaves his boarding school due to his finical status he begins to learn other things about religion. He starts to wonder who is God and why he is important. Joyce quotes “It was very big to think about everything and everywhere. Only God could do that. He tried to think what a big thought that must be; but he could only think of God. God was God's name just as his name was Stephen. Dieu was the French for God and that was God's name too; and when anyone prayed to God and said Dieu then God knew at once that it was a French person that was praying..God's real name was God” (1.2.40)( Joyce).
This is where we see Stephan confessing that he knows that there is a God but he does not understand how God works and what his purpose is. HE is still developing his religion believed but they are slowing forming his character and who he becomes later in the novel. Stephan again quotes: “He knelt before the altar with his classmates, holding the altar cloth with them over a living rail of hands. His hands were trembling and his soul trembled as he heard the priest pass with the ciborium from communicant to communicant.
Corpus Domini nostril,Could it be? He knelt there sinless and timid; and he would hold upon his tongue the host and God would enter his purified body.
In vitam eternam. Amen….The ciborium had come to him”( 5.2.16)(Joyce).
Stephan understands the importance of the sacraments which is a Christian symbol. Stephan takes the Christian metaphor of the sacraments representing Christ literally and starts to understand the concept of transubstantiation. In the final chapter...