("The life and works of James Joyce")
The novel the portrait of the artist as a young man is one of James Joyce's most read writings and is essentially an autobiography by James Joyce. The central character Stephen Dedalus is representative of the author James Joyce. The book follows the life of Stephen Dedalus up from childhood to adulthood and maturity. Stephen narrates about his life. The narration of the story gives insight into the life of James Joyce alias Stephen Dedalus. From the story, we get to understand of his childhood; the bullying he experienced, his emotional and sexual development and how later in life James experienced a crisis of faith spurred on by a sermon titled hellfire given by father Arnall. Again, Stephen Dedalus can also be found in the other writings of James Joyce, Ulysses. ("The life and works of James Joyce")
The plot and setting again provide meaningful insight into the Ireland at the time and more importantly the nature of Irish politics of the time. At the time of writing The portrait of the artist as a young man, it is worth noting that Irish nationalism was at it peak. The fact that James Joyce experienced a crisis of faith is proof enough that his writings have considerable religious influence more so Catholicism for the simple fact he was born and raised in a catholic family.
The central character Stephen Dedalus can be said to have been named after the Dedalus a famous character in Greek mythology. In the mythology, Dedalus made himself and his son a pair of wings so that they could fly away. Dedalus who was an architect felt trapped in one of his own constructions. While the wings helped Dedalus and Icarus escape, his son Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax on his artificial wings melted. In the end Icarus fell into the sea leaving his father forlorn. Just like Dedalus the Greek mythological character, Stephen Dedalus, in the novel The portrait of the artist as a young man, has rise above the tribulations in his life. And for this, he also needs some kind of wings. To a great extent the Greek mythology of Dedalus and Icarus is representative of the central theme of the novel, The portrait of the artist as a young man. Just like in the Greek mythology, Stephen Dedalus, refuses to follow his father's path, rebel against religion, feels trapped in his life and ultimately finds a way to escape his past. (The portrait of the artist as a young man")
As the novel begins, the story of Stephen Dedalus begins to unfold. It provides information on his family and his childhood. From childhood in the family set up, Stephen then moves into schools at the Longbows Wood College which was primarily a Jesuit boarding school for boys. It had its basis on Catholicism. Thus for the most part, Stephen spends his time in boarding school apart from over the holidays. During one such holiday is when he first contact with politics during talk on the politics of the day by his family members. This is where he come to learn of Charles Stewart Parnell, a prominent Irish political leader at the time. ("The portrait of the artist as a young man")
As Stephen Dedalus is growing up and subsequently matures, he begins to understand about his position in Irish life. This was in the 1900 when life in Ireland can be considered to have been turbulent. Various individuals were fighting and advocating for the