The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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Through the course of a man's life, he will continually change until he becomes himself or his true self whether through moral reconciliation or spiritual reassessment. In James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, we enter the life of a young boy and travel through his experiences that shift his views drastically. It is apparent at the close of the novel that this is not exactly the cliché happy ending, but one in which we can realize a changed man and relate his journey to the one we are on. Joyce presents change through an interesting way of the variegation of one young man, Stephen Daedalus from one form to another, yet these pieces, or lessons, contribute to his whole revelation at the end of the novel. Joyce first shows Stephen's soft memories of what it was like to be young, almost infantile in the first few sentences but by the end of the chapter he is a young, fearful servant of God, a role that beleaguers him throughout childhood. However, the end of the second chapter sees a completely different Stephen. He first throws himself at the mercy of the Fathers that teach him while trying to get himself friends in the schoolyard at the same time and this proves to be quite a task. Eventually, from a friend, he gets the courage to stand up to his unjust whipping and humiliation in front of the class and it changes him forever. He now, at the end of the first chapter is more confident that he can talk to adults and stick up for himself. This is the first step toward what he will later learn that, " He was destined to learn his own wisdom apart from others or to learn the wisdom of others himself wandering among the snares of the world. (Joyce 156)" On the other hand, Chapter II focuses on his break from childhood into his development as a young man as he has his first sexual experience with a Dublin prostitute. Shortly thereafter, Stephen feels immensely bad for what he has done because to him, he has committed the ultimate sin of lust. This...
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