The Triumph and Transformation of the Artist Book Review by LauraT

The Triumph and Transformation of the Artist
This paper discusses the triumph and transformation of the artist in the book "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"by James Joyce.
# 103059 | 2,023 words | 1 source | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Apr 13, 2008 in Literature (European (other)) , Sociology (General)

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In this article, the writer notes that James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" portrays the struggle of a unique and artistic soul to find his own distinct voice and identity within the repressive and severe environment of early 20th century Catholic Ireland. The writer points out that the strict ideologies and rules of the Catholic Church perpetuated a society which valued a submission to strict conformity that thrived on fear. The writer discusses that in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", one sees the effects that a strict and rigid society has upon the development of an artist. The writer further asserts that, this fear, dispensed by the Catholic Church and welcomed by the Irish people, extended beyond the fear of individuality and change, but encompassed nearly every aspect of the human condition. The writer further notes that, in "A Portrai of the Artist as a Young Man", the Ireland encountered not only demands conformity, but passivity and a "fear of freedom, fear of the body, (and) fear of the complexity of experience.

From the Paper:

"From this perspective we can understand the roots of Stephen's conformity, as from a young age he is conditioned to believe that deviating from expectations and embracing change and originality results in eternal damnation. Consequently, Stephen comes to see his own individuality as sinful, and in ignoring his unique thoughts and ambitions he is unconsciously repressing his inner voice and artistic soul."
"Much of the curiosity that Stephen yearns to be satiated throughout the book comes from the rigidity of Irish society. In Catholic Ireland, that which was considered taboo or profane was simply ignored and not addressed. As Stephen matures and is forced to confront his sexuality, he is left without an understanding of this part of human nature except to be told that it is sinful."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

Cite this Book Review:

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