Stephen Dedalus: The Growth of the Artist Analytical Essay by JPWrite

Stephen Dedalus: The Growth of the Artist
An analysis of the character development of Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man".
# 66979 | 3,869 words | 11 sources | MLA | 2006 | US
Published on Jun 25, 2006 in English (Analysis) , English (Comparison) , Literature (European (other))

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The paper contrasts different critics' approaches to analyzing the book and its protagonist. The paper works its way through Stephen's life, at each stage offering the opinions of contrasting critics and reviewers of the book, such as Walton A. Litz, John V. Kelleher and Robert Adams. The paper also analyzes the novel's structure, again comparing different critics' opinions, in this case Harry Levin's division of the book into three sections with William T. Noon's separation of the book into five parts, along the lines of Joyce's five chapters. Finally, the paper contrasts Joyce's style and structure with Stephen's aesthetic theory: Stephen's destiny seeks wholeness, his personality desires harmony, and Joyce strives for clarity. In conclusion, the writer speculates that if Thomas Aquinas was alive in 1914, he probably would have enjoyed meeting James Joyce.

From the Paper:

"Another turning point for Stephen's development occurs during his studying of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin. Stephen reads the words that he has read many times, but this time he examines the words for their actual meaning (Zimbaro 31). When Stephen begins to evaluate words for their meaning, he opens up a whole new world of symbolism. The repeated use of words like "dark," "cold," "pale," and "strange" to describe Clongowes Wood College represents Stephen's true feelings. Stephen even recalls words from his past, like the childhood poem "O, the wild rose blossoms/ On the little green place" (Joyce 19), and brings them into his world of imagery: "Perhaps a wild rose might be like those colours and he remembered the song about the wild rose blossoms on the little green place. But you could not have a green rose. But perhaps somewhere in the world you could" (Joyce 24). Stephen's imagination allows him to deal with reality in a way that he can accept. Words and symbolism become the key to all of Stephen's experiences. For example, when Father Dolan hits Stephen with the pandybat, the words "hot," "burning," "stinging," "tingling," "crumpled," "flaming," "livid," "scalding," "maimed," "quivering," "fierce," and "maddening" all occur in less than half a page (Adams 235)."

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