Life is a journey
Growing up and becoming independent is the toughest accomplishment for a young person. It all starts with the parents, and their main role is to care for and prepare their child for a independent survival as an adult. Of course, there are different factors responsible for developing confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. Each of these characteristics are influenced by how a child is raised and the type of parents that raised them. Another factor is the education provided to the child. The life story of the narrator Stephen Dedalus in the novel “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” by James Joyce, is a good example to explore the influence of childhood on the adult. Stephen’s earliest childhood memory is of a story that he was told by his father about a moocow and a little boy named baby tuckoo. He also remembered his mother having a nicer smell than his father. The memories from an early childhood are difficult to recall because a child does not have the experience yet to put them in perspective, but it seems that Stephen has loving and supporting parents. Their dedication to their son’s education is showing in this passage “The first day in the hall of the castle when she had said goodbye she had put up her veil double to her nose to kiss him: and her nose and eyes were red. But he had pretended not to see that she was going to cry. She was a nice mother but she was not so nice when she cried. And his father had given him two fiveshilling pieces for pocket money. And his father had told him if he wanted anything to write home to him and, whatever he did, never to peach on a fellow. Then at the door of the castle […] the car had driven off with his father and mother on it. They had cried from the car, waving their hands: -Good bye, Stephen, good-bye!” (Joyce, 3). Stephen did not appreciate the separation from his home at first but his parents made the decision to send him to a catholic school in his best interest, although they did not take it light either. They had the financial means to provide him with this education and in their eyes it was a necessary step in the process to him getting to know who he is and what he will become in life. Just shortly after arriving at the school, some of the students called him out and understand that he was different, when one student asked him about his father’s status and Stephen was not able to answer this, and another student confused him with the questions whether he would kiss his mother good –night or not, and no matter how Stephen answered he was laughed at anyway. These run-ins made Stephen concentrate on his studies instead of socializing with his fellow students. In the Stolen Party by Liliana Heker the narrator Rosaura, who was at a birthday party for Luciana (Rosaura’s mother worked for the family), was asked by one of the other children “And you? Who are you?” “I’m a friend of Luciana,” said Rosaura. “No,” said the girl with the bow, “you are not a fired of Luciana because I’m her cousin and I know all her friends. And I don’t know you. “So what,” said Rosaura. “I come here every afternoon with my mother and we do our homework together,” said Rosaura, very seriously. The girl with the bow shrugged her shoulders. “That’s not being friends,” she said. “do you go to school together?” “No,” “So where do you know her from?” […] “I’m the daughter of the employee,” she said. […] “What employee?” said the thel with the bow. “Employee in a shop?” But before Rosaura could answer, the mother of the birthday girl asked her for help serving food (Heker 5). In both stories, the children were put on the spot because of their social status. The aggressor in either situation were under the impression to be superior and showed confidence, whereas Stephen and Rosaura had not been exposed to this before and therefore were not prepared to counter on the obvious attempt to embarrass them. When he went home for Christmas, he listened for the first time to a heated...
Cited: James Joyce. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York, Dover Publications, Inc.,
Liliana Heker.”The Stolen Party” Uncommon Knowledge: Exploring Ideas Through Reading
and Writing, Rose Hawkins and Robert Isaacson, Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 1996, 3-8, Print.
John Updike.”A & P” Uncommon Knowledge: Exploring Ideas Through Reading and Writing,
Rose Hawkins and Robert Isaacson, Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 1996, 225-230, Print.
Plato.”The Allegory of The Care” Uncommon Knowledge: Exploring Ideas Through Reading
and Writing, Rose Hawkins and Robert Isaacson, Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 1996, 66-70, Print.
Ovid.Metamorphoses (VIII:183-235), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daedalus
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