A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man By James Joyce
Chapter 2 Presentation Period 2 Seth Abrams, Kristin Tincup, Bradley Van Winkle, Justin Grant, Colin Burnett, Amanda Lowery, Sawyer Kilgore
Summary - Chapter 2, Scene 1 The second chapter starts with Stephen spending time at his home with his family. During the first part of summer, Stephen began to spend time with his Uncle Charles. They went on daily walks and spent time with Mike Flynn who trained Stephen to be a runner. Uncle Charles also took the boy to the chapel even though Stephen didn’t share his view on religion. Stephen heard about politics on his walks with his uncle and began to read The Count of Monte Cristo. Stephen began to dream about being the hero in the story and reenact battles with his new friend Aubrey Mills. Mr. Dedalus began to have serious financial troubles which meant the family had to move and Stephen had to attend Belvedere College.
Summary - Chapter 2, Scene 2 About two and a half years later, Stephen is about to go on stage when he is confronted by two of his classmates. Stephen remembers how insecure he felt his first year at Belvedere College when a teacher accused him of writing hearsay. Afterwards, his classmates instigate a fight over favorite writers. The memory is still vivid to Stephen but he feels no malice towards the boys because he's a girls admiration for him outweighs the boy’s taunts. Stephen travels with his father to the auction that will sell the remainder of Mr. Dedalus’ property. Stephen realizes his father is out of touch with the world and that he too had fantasies about women as a young man. At a pub, Stephen is embarrassed by his father’s actions and slowly resigns himself to the fact “his childhood was dead or lost and with it his soul.”
Summary - Chapter 2, Scene 3 Stephen wins money from an essay he wrote. He goes on a lavish spending spree. After the money is all gone, Stephen realizes his actions were foolish and dissociates himself from his family. Stephen explores the streets at night and has his first sexual experience with a prostitute.
Growth and maturation from chapter one to chapter two Now that it is summer and Stephen has completed another year of school, Stephen is now more “mature.” It is apparent that he believes he has much more personal freedom, and he is open to trying many more things, and he does so. In this chapter, Stephen experiments with prostitutes and prostitutes tend to be thought of something older gentleman would use as opposed to younger teenagers.
Growth and maturation from chapter one to chapter two continued Also, Stephen still seems to get caught up in the smallest things. For example, when Stephen hears the band practicing in the theatre, he becomes very interested and stops what he is doing. We are reminded of Stephen’s fascination with sounds and the senses in general.
Growth and maturation from chapter one to chapter two continued In general, Stephen does many things throughout chapter two that most people would think older people would do; however, he conducts himself in a foolish manner, and he is only doing these things out of curiosity. He has become older, but he has not necessarily “matured.”
Faith and Doubt in God and Catholicism •Stephen’s family is religious however, while Stephen respects their beliefs he doesn’t share their beliefs. •“Stephen knelt at his side respecting, though he did not share, his piety” (72). •“In any case Byron was a heretic and immoral too” (90). •“He wondered why he bore no malice now to those who had tormented them” (91).
Faith and Doubt in God and Catholicism continued •“he had felt that some power was divesting him of that suddenwoven anger…” (91). •His father and masters urged Stephen to be a good Catholic: “These voices had now come to be hollow-sounding in his ears” (92). •“His prayer, addressed neither to God nor saint…” (96).
Desire to Escape • Stephen’s family has financial problems and he starts to isolate himself from them. • Stephen thinks that he is different from other kids his age and has trouble relating to them and tries to escape to a different reality through the book The Count of Monte Cristo with Aubrey Mills, a friend. • Stephen is disconnected from the world and everyone else. “While he was still repeating the Confiteor amid the indulgent laughter of his hearers and while the scenes of that malignant episode were still passing sharply and swiftly before his mind he wondered why he bore no malice now to those who had tormented him” (91). Stephen doesn’t concern himself with other people, just what he is currently interested in. • Stephen doesn’t feel like a part of his own family.
Relationship with his family and community • Stephen continues to feel this disconnect between his father and himself, especially when his father takes him to Cork to visit all his old friends • Heron and his schoolmates make fun of him and tease him for not being rebellious • After his schooling, he becomes detached from his mother, sister, and brother; however, he doesn't even make an effort to reconnect with him after winning the money from the essay contest
Relationship with his family and community continued • Stephen also feels a disconnect with his community and outside surroundings. For one, he disregards his community's repulsion towards heresy; the students, and teacher, at his new Jesuit school are horrified when his essay contained "heresy" in it and when Stephen's favorite poet was a heretic. • Additionally, he feels no attachment to his family's ongoing political talk, as he listens but does not understand.
Perceptions of love •All of Stephen’s knowledge of “love” comes from his interpretation of The Count of Monte Cristo •Stephen longs to find his own Mercedes, who he can later reject •This leads to the assumption that Stephen is confusing love with power •“He wanted to sin with another of his kind, to force another being to sin with him and to exult her in sin.” (108) •His experience with the prostitute at the end show that the opposite actually occurs as he is weak to her, “He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her, body and mind…” (109)
Sensory descriptions •Auditory: “The sentiment of the opening bars, their languor and supple movement, evoked the incommunicable emotion which had been the cause of all his day’s unrest…” (84) •Visual: Use of the color yellow as a descriptor, “…lay bobbing on the surface of the water in a thick yellow scum…” “The yellow gasflames arose before his troubled vision…” (108) •Smell: “That is horse piss and rotted straw, he thought. It is a good odor to breathe. It will calm my heart. My heart is quite calm now.” (95)
Motifs and Symbols • The count of Monte Cristo represents Stephens desire to escape because he imagines himself as the hero and can identify himself with the characteristics of the main character. • Confiteor shows Stephen’s mixed feelings towards religion. He is unsure of where he stands towards God yet when he is in a situation he can control he repeats the Confiteor to himself which calms him down. • Darkness represents hopelessness and Stephen’s feelings of being powerless and weak. • “The spittle in his throat grew bitter and foul to swallow and the feign sickness climbed to his brain so that for a moment he closed his eyes and walked on in the darkness.”
Motifs and Symbols continued • The different phases of light represent instability in Stephen’s life. Nothing seems to be constant: the downwards spiral of Stephen’s emotion, the family having to move, and the change from Clongowes to Belvedere • Heat and fire represent Stephen’s new found lust towards women. “The yellow gasflames arose before his troubles vision against the vapoury sky, burning as if before the alter. • Poetry or Secular songs shows Stephens state of mind at that time. “Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, wandering companionless…?” • This is when Stephen realizes that his childhood was lost and thinks about the human ineffectualness.
Motifs and Symbols continued • Water is used to characterize many things such as temptation and Stephen’s changing feeling. • Some of the seven deadly sins are recurring in this chapter such as gluttony, lust, and sloth. Stephen immediately spends all the money he received as a prize. He doesn’t keep it or help himself in any way but spends it on things that he doesn’t absolutely need such as expensive chocolate and books. Stephens feels lust towards the prostitute, Mercedes, and E. C. Stephen doesn’t really believe in god and is unsure of his feeling towards God which is considered sloth.
Motifs and Symbols continued • Stephen compares himself to the moon. Stephen repeats the lines of Shelley’s fragment “To the Moon.” The Moon represents loneliness or being on the outside. The moon just goes around earth but never affects the earth.
Stephen’s epiphany •Occurs after Stephen receives and spends the money from the contest •After squandering the money, he realizes that it had no actual effect on his or his families life. •Joyce’s use of this epiphany brings to mind the question of the usefulness of magnanimous spending and what actually has an impact on life.
Moment of stasis • Before the end of the chapter Stephen is very upset and confused with many different feelings. • Stephen desires to sin with someone. “He wanted to sin with another of his kind, to force another being to sin with him and to exult with her sin”(108). Stephen finds a girl and goes back to her house with her. • In her room she undresses and tells Stephen to kiss her. Even though Stephen wants to he has lost control of himself. “With a sudden movement she bowed his head and joined her lips to his and he read the meaning of her movements in her frank uplifted eyes”(109).
Moment of Stasis continued • Stephen goes into a trance like state, “ He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her, body and mind, conscious of nothing in the world but the dark pressure of her softly parting lips”(109). Stephens forgets everything that has happened and calms down.
Research and links to the text The Count of Monte Cristo Tale of young sailor Edmond Dantes, who is arrested for treason at the feast before his marriage. Though innocent, he is imprisoned in the Chateau d’If, where he meets a fellow prisoner Abbe Faria, who tells him of a buried treasure on an uninhabited island called Monte Cristo. After the death of Faria, Edmond switches places with the body and is thrown into the sea, escaping to the island of Monte Cristo. Finding the treasure and becoming a rich man, Edmond dedicates himself to getting revenge on those who wronged him, and disguises himself as a figure known as the “Count of Monte Cristo”. In the end, Edmond succeeds in his revenge and sails away with the satisfaction of his enemies’ defeat.
Research and links to the text continued The Count of Monte Cristo Most of Stephen’s daydreams involve this story. Edmond is a tall, dark, mysterious hero, who’s in love with Mercedes, a beautiful, mysterious woman. Stephen longs for a Mercedes of his own.
Research and links to the text continued Cardinal Newman • When asked by Heron, Stephen refers to Cardinal Newman as his favorite writer • Newman helped to found the Catholic University of Ireland • He was a leader in the Oxford Movement, and left the Church of England to become a part of the Roman Catholic Church
Research and links to the text continued Lord Byron • The poet the boys all make fun of Stephen for admiring. The others claim Byron wrote only for the uneducated (ironically). • One of the most famous English romantics of all time. He was very handsome, had many love affairs, and was exiled, by choice. • Byron was known to be very self-conscious, especially about his club foot, and the limp it caused him to have. Had to learn how to deal with being made fun of, like Stephen. • He attended Trinity College in Cambridge, after being raised by a single mother with very little money.
Research and links to the text continued Lord Byron • At Trinity College he met a “protégé”, John Eddleston, and based homoerotic poems in a collection called Thyrza, a Pure Love on the affair. Some believe this was the cause of Byron’s forceful removal from England while many others claim that he left solely by choice and the homophobic attitudes of early 19th century British society had little to no involvement in his self-motivated exile. • In late winter of 1824, he became very sick and doctors applied leeches to his temples, he died shortly after the primitive treatment and had his heart buried in Missolonghi, Greece, and the rest of his body in England.
Research and links to the text continued Percy Bysshe Shelley • A friend of Lord Byron, born in Sussex, England. • Eldest of 6 children, set to inherit a large estate and high-up seat in British Parliament. • Out of Oxford University, Shelley published his first novel Zastrozzi, where he expressed his atheistic views, and received much criticism for it.
Research and links to the text continued Percy Bysshe Shelley • A few of the Shelley siblings, including Percy, went to meet Lord Byron at Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Percy Shelley claimed that his poetry output was much stronger and he became a much more prolific writer after he talked with Byron for a few weeks. And, just as Byron was a major inspiration for Shelley, Shelley became a major inspiration for the future’s most notable writers including Karl Marx and Henry David Thoreau.
Research and links to the text continued Alfred Lord Tennyson - Victorian Among the most famous of English poets, Lord Tennyson was considered to be the chief representative of Victorian age poetry. He had a lifelong fear of mental illness, for several members of his family had mild forms of epilepsy, which was then thought to be a shameful disease. He excelled in penning short sayings and phrases, many of which are still around today.
Research and links to the text continued The Confiteor •The Confiteor, or Confession, is said during the Catholic Mass as an act of ritual repentance of sin (begging forgiveness for sins). •Heron and Wallis attempt to force Stephen to admit he is no longer a saint. •Stephen recites the Confiteor sarcastically to Heron as a way of submitting to him and escaping the situation. •Interesting that he used a religious verse to escape after questioning God. •He also recites it after being questioned about heresy.
Discussion Questions • Why was Stephen upset when his father took him to Cork?
Discussion Questions • What is the role of money in Stephen’s growth during this chapter?
Discussion Questions • For what reasons does Stephen defend the merits of Lord Byron?
Discussion Questions • What is the significance of Heron repeating the word “admit”?
Discussion Questions • What role does the Confiteor play in Stephen’s development?
Discussion Questions • What caused the isolation between Stephen and his family?
Discussion Questions • What is the correlation between Stephen’s maturity and his religious outlook?
Discussion Questions • For what reasons does Stephen feel lust?
Discussion Questions • How does Stephen relate to Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo?
Discussion Questions • How does Joyce use stream of consciousness to represent how the human mind works?
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