Joyce's Writing Style in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" Analytical Essay by scribbler

Joyce's Writing Style in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"
A discussion on the purpose of James Joyce's writing style in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man".
# 153413 | 1,373 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on May 29, 2013 in Literature (European (other))

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The paper discusses how James Joyce's novel, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", is well known for its stream of consciousness writing style that allows us to not only know what Stephen is going through but also go through it with him. The paper explains how this type of writing style allows the reader to feel closer to Stephen without overwhelming him with too many interior thoughts, and so it makes for a better reading experience. The paper concludes that this writing style, together with Stephen's story, merge to create a heightened reading experience and a better understanding of mankind.

From the Paper:

"Joyce's writing style allows him to be close to Stephen while, at the same time, keep some distance from him. Joyce moves between Stephen's inner thoughts and physical experiences gracefully and in such a way that we relate to him as he moves from childhood into adulthood. David Fuller notes that Joyce's writing style "registers a child's point of view in diction and syntax, by seeing at times from within the young Stephen's partial comprehension, and by not differentiating the actual world of the fiction from Stephen's fantasies"(Fuller). This works for both reader and protagonist as the shared experience is one that both can realize independently. Joyce's free indirect style often appears as though Stephen's thoughts are moderated by the narrator without making it expressly so. At the same time, Stephen's thoughts are related to us without the traditional markers, such as "he thought" or "he said." This transition, while seemingly disjointed, is not so in the novel. Readers move from one thought or action to the next without a sense of loss or confusion.
"Joyce's writing style also allows us to almost experience with Stephen the events that affect his life. One of the most significant occurs when he is younger and Stephen is listening to the preacher give a sermon about hell. The young boy hears the "fire of hell gives forth no light" (Joyce 120) and hell is complete with an "intolerable stench" (120)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Fuller, David. "A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man: Overview." Reference Guide to English Literature. 1991. Literature Resource Center. Web. 12 Apr. 2011.
  • Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Viking Press. 1975. Print.
  • Matthews, Carolyn. "Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." Explicator. 1991. 50.1. Site Accessed Apri1 12, 2011. EBSCO Resource Database. <>
  • Robbins, Dorothy Dodge. "Coming down along the road: the journey motif in 'A Portrait of the Artist.' Site Accessed Apri1 12, 2011. GALE Resource Database. <>

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