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Relationships in A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man . By: Christian P. , Predrag V. , Yannick A. , Anthony B. AIM / DO NOW. Aim: How do Stephen's Relationships affect the actions and decisions he makes? Objective:

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relationships in a portrait of the artist as a young man

Relationships in A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man

By: Christian P. , Predrag V. , Yannick A. , Anthony B.

aim do now

Aim: How do Stephen's Relationships affect the actions and decisions he makes?


To identify particular relationships Stephen has in the novel and see how these relationships affect Stephen's future and decisions.

Do Now: Think about two relationships in your life: One positive and one negative. What kind of effect has it had in your life?

definition example

Relationship: an emotional or other connection between people that can often be influential in their actions

(E.g.) Holden and Phoebe's relationship as brother and sister is a lot more more than just that. Since Phoebe's purity and wise mind helped Holden become enlightened and view the world in a less "phony" perspective, and in a more satisfying and gratuitous way. Being his sister, also affected Holden actions in the school when he became pissed at the curses written around the school. He wanted to keep Phoebe safe and innocent.

stephen s relationship with mr dedalus
Stephen's relationship with Mr. Dedalus
  • Stephen feels mortified of his father's behavior in terms of his boring stories and how drunk he is when they are at the bar. Also how flirty he was with the waitresses.
  • Stephen also views Mr. Dedalus's nostalgic thoughts and his pride with the whole Irish culture as a hinderance on him and the family
  • Mr.Dedalus not only is a very politically driven man, but he is also very religious as well, which has drawn Stephen away from this.
  • He suddenly starts to feel withdrawn and very distant from his father after they come from the bar and this is the turning point of their relationship since it goes downhill from there.
  • This growing distance causes Stephen to not only split from his father, but his family as well, affecting Stephen's relationship with his mother as well.
quotes about mr dedalus
Quotes About Mr. Dedalus
  • Stephen walked on at his father's side, listening to stories he had heard before, hearing again the names of the scattered and dead revellers who had been the companions of his father's youth. And a faint sickness sighed in his heart.(pg.96)- This demonstrates how bored Stephen is of his father's same old stories and doesn't really have a thrill spending time with his father, yet he still tolerates it.
  • Stephen watched the three glasses being raised from the counter as his father and his two cronies drank to the memory of their past. An abyss of fortune or of temperament sundered him from them.(pg.101-102) This shows how due to Stephen's very distant relationship with his father and how ashamed he was to know that his father was a drunk and can only live off of the past he then cannot experience the same amount of joy his father and his friend's are having. Therefore he slips into depression and it soon leads to him losing his innocence later on in the chapter.
  • "Is your lazy bitch of a brother gone out yet?" (189)
stephen s relationship with mrs dedalus
Stephen's relationship with Mrs. Dedalus

-Stephen begins his life with a preference for his mother, rather than his father.

-Stephen's mother serves as a peacemaker most of the time between Stephen and the family (mainly his father)

- Mrs. Dedalus is very protective of Stephen, and has hopes that he will follow the church as the rest of the family does.

-Being that she is very protective, she is not ready for him to move on and separate from her.

-Stephen has a special bond with his mother.

- He only willingly kisses her, and doesn't kiss any of his love interests (He was kissed by the prostitute, rather than him kissing her)

-However their relationship great diminishes, and we know this because when Stephen is talking to Cranly about whether or not to attend Church, it was his mother who plead for him to be there. If there relationship was good, Stephen would have considered his mother's feelings and attended Church for her sake. He however does not.

quotes about mrs dedalus
Quotes About Mrs. Dedalus

"His mother had a nicer smell than his father."- Page 3

As a young child: Shows his unintentional preferences for his mother starting at the beginning of his life.

"Tell us, Dedalus, do you kiss your mother before you go to bed?"-Page 10

"Was it right to kiss his mother or wrong to kiss his mother? What did that mean, to kiss?- Page 11

While attending boarding school: Begins to develop insecurities about his relationship with his mother, which later leads him to begin separating from her.

"I never liked the idea of sending him to the christian brothers myself"-Page 74

In response to Mr Dedalus bringing up sending him away for school: She is not ready to let Stephen leave on his own.

"His mother was hostile to the idea, as he had read from her listless silence. Yet her mistrust pricked him more keenly than his father's pride and he thought coldly how he had watched the faith which was fading down in his soul aging and strengthening in her eyes."- Page 178

In response to Stephen being accepted into university: She is still not ready to let go even though he is much older.

"26 April: Mother is putting my new secondhand clothes in order. She prays now, she says, that I may learn in my own life and away from home and friends what the heart is and what it feels."- Page 275

When Stephen is moving out: His mother finally is able to let him move on, and they are on good terms with each other

stephen s relationship with his classmates friends
Stephen's Relationship with his classmates/friends


-Stephen and Davin can not be more opposite of each other. Stephen is an artist and wants completely nothing to do with Ireland and mainly the politics. Davin on the other hand is a complete nationalist and supports his heritage. The only reason we see them even being friends, is the fact that their completely different viewpoints fascinate each other, that they can not help but discuss events.


Stephen and Cranly have an interesting relationship. Cranly is someone Stephen is not afraid to tell him what he is thinking. He is someone he can express his ideas and Cranly responses most of the time by asking Stephen questions that further force Stephen to explain his actions and decisions. Ultimately, although most likely not Cranly intentions, with Cranly's questions, Stephen is able to further convince himself that his decisions are the correct ones for him.

quotes about classmates friends
Quotes About Classmates/Friends

"I can't understand you, said Davin. One time I hear you talk against English literature. Now you talk against the Irish informers. What with your name and your ideas...Are you Irish at all?" (219) Stephen and Davin are two clearly different people and have two completely different viewpoints. Seeing this, helps Stephen better justify his reasons for becoming an artist.

"I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which i no longer believe whether it call itself home, my fatherland or my church; and i will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use- silence, exile, and cunning." (268) Stephen clearly has a good relationship with Cranly, in the sense that he is not afraid to tell Cranly what he believes and Cranly is not afraid to provide his opinion but is respectful in the fact that he allows Stephen to do what he pleases and does not try to stop him.

activity questions
??Activity Questions??
  • Knowing Stephen Dedalus's relationships, with his family and peers, do you believe that James Joyce was in a similar situation?
  • Would the novel be as effective if Stephen formed more relationships, and why ?