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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. by James Joyce 1882 -1941. Stephen Dedalus – name comes from the Greek myth of Dedalus and Icarus and St. Stephen, Christian martyr First memories are of language – father’s story. Stages of emerging consciousness Hearing –story of the moocow

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Stephen Dedalus – name comes from the Greek myth of Dedalus and Icarus and St. Stephen, Christian martyr
  • First memories are of language – father’s story
Stages of emerging consciousness
  • Hearing –story of the moocow
  • Sight – father’s face
  • Taste – lemon platt
  • Touch – warm, cold bed
  • Smell – oilsheet
Michael Davitt – catholic, founded the Land League, tried to make Ireland socialist – maroon brush
  • Charles Stuart Parnell – protestant, Irish Nationalist leader – green brush
  • Apologise – guilt/repression – example of chiasmus
  • “greaves in his number” – shinguards in his locker
Attention to words – “dog-in-the-blanket,” “belt,” “toe in the rump”
  • Mother – warm, nice, comforting, smells better than father
  • Father – story-teller, code of conduct
  • P.4 – thinking of Spelling Book as literature – aesthetic distinction
  • Complete acceptance of church – Father Arnall
Suck – sycophant – flatterer “suck up” – physical sensations associated with thinking about words –watch for this throughout
  • P. 5 – York and Lancaster – English, not Irish names
  • Yellow, red, green roses – artist’s daydreams – aesthetic beauty
  • Awareness of social distinctions – friends’ fathers’ jobs
Pp. 6,7 – “Do you kiss your mother?” – early childhood confused ideas of sexuality
  • St. Aloysius Gonzaga – patron saint of James Aloysius Joyce- too pure even to kiss his mother

Sees self as center of Ptolemaic universe

P. 7 aesthetic judgment of poetry

P. 10 – Goes to bed cold, shivers; thoughts are of scary things – bed warms, so do his thoughts

Major events – going to school, taking ill, going home for the holidays, death of Parnell, breaking of his glasses


P. 14 - aesthetic beauty of words; physical response to poetry

Illness – chance to read in the infirmary

Interest in words again – riddles

First thoughts of his family’s poverty

Christmas dinner –
    • Father identifies himself as Irish catholic
    • Parnell wanted an Ireland where religion didn’t matter – like USA
    • Politics, religion – adult conversation
    • Mr. Casey – “making a birthday present for Queen Victoria” – he’d been in prison
    • Dante – firm believer in the power of religious authority
“pope’s nose” = rump of the turkey
  • Eileen – off limits because she’s protestant
  • Trying to understand the rules – boys being punished for smugging in the square
  • Stephen unfairly punished for not having his glasses
Order imposed by brute force – threat of more beatings every day
  • Peer pressure to protest his innocence
  • Finally asserts self as individual
  • Restores his trust in institutional order
  • Last lines repeat of p. 27 – incremental repetition – how much has changed since then.
  • Chapter ends with a sense of joy, self-pride – sharply constrasted in next chapter
Chapter II – working with his uncle
  • Begins to view the world around him critically – no longer sees himself as pious as others (his uncle)
  • Studies words as a means to enter into the world of adults
  • Romantic – Mercedes from The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Decline in family finances keeps him from school
Stephen no longer sees himself as a child – he’s annoyed by the sounds of children at play
  • Feels a sense of unrest that he can’t identify
  • Searches for his future in the form of an epiphany
  • Move to Dublin – furniture being reclaimed, uncle unstable, wandering the streets of Dublin as in a maze (labyrinth)
Becoming isolated – a loner – “he began to taste the joy of his loneliness.”
  • Begins a flirtation with an unknown girl – disappoints himself by his reluctance to act
  • Poetry – an attempt to turn reality into a poem – love, politics
  • Earns a reputation for writing essays
  • Scene outside the play interrupted by memory
Admit – apologise
  • Feels personally the power of words
  • P. 58 – summary of life to this point
  • Trip with his father – shift in his reality – vision of his father changes – vision of himself changes
  • Beginning of sense of self as an artist
  • Sexual shame – mortal sin
Visit to a prostitute – language fails him- relief, no longer shame
  • Movement from
    • Intellectual
    • Artistic
    • Spiritual
    • Sexual


Chapter III sermons:
    • Spiritual torments of hell
      • Deprived of divine light – greatest loss
      • Conscience – memory of past pleasures, sorrow for sins committed, knowledge that you failed to repent
      • Pain of extension – torment of imagination of what is to come coupled with what one is experiencing
      • Eternity of hell
Confession, followed by realization that he will fall p. 116
  • Pride before his fall – he will know the secrets of the religion, sees himself as a celebrant of mass in a “church without worshippers”
  • P. 113 – “A flame began to flutter again…”
  • Image of the priest in chapter IV is that of a skeletal head before a noose
Images –
    • cerements (death)
    • Birds (Icarus)
    • Water (rebirth)
    • Bridge (crossing from one life to another)
    • Epiphany – p. 123 – He will not be a priest, but will be an artist.
Chapter V – mimics mass
  • University – 20 yrs. Old
  • Broken clock – no longer bother to fix things that are broken
  • National poet of Ireland – Thomas Moore
  • Davin’s story of temptation
  • Philosophical discussion of beauty
  • Meaning of words – lamp, funnel, tundish,
    • home, Christ, ale, master