essay on alienation in joyce

Topics: Novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses Pages: 4 (1477 words) Published: October 24, 2013
Alienation in Joyce’s novel is also depicted in many other forms, as we can see early in the book from his exclusion as young boy. Even the very first sentence of the novel could be interpreted as having modernist connotations, “Once upon a time and a very long time ago it was…,” Perhaps a link through a figure of speech to the nostalgic image of tradition in the face of modernism and moving onwards, a foresight into the aim and ideas that will be played out in the book. It is at Clongowes that we see Stephen feel alienated without understanding why. Particularly in his self image as “…small and weak amid the throng of players…” He is also socially alienated by the other boys; we see this clearly when Wells asks Stephen does he kiss his mother every night before he goes to bed. Stephen cannot understand the question and is bullied and jeered as a result. It seems like a long time until he will be one of the big boys that had “…big voices and big boots and…studied trigonometry”. We get a sense of great longing from Stephen, a longing to move on and mature from this chaos of youth he wishes to be more mature “Sitting in the midst of a children’s party…His silent watchful manner had grown over him, and he took little part in the games”. This longing is realised when at the Christmas dinner table as he thinks of his “…little brothers and sisters who were waiting in the nursery, as he had often waited…” He has finally joined the adults at the dinner table but now he finds that adulthood is not all it seems, even the clothes are ill fitting and unfamiliar, the “…deep low collar…Eton jacket made him feel queer and oldish”. As Stephen listens to the argument between Dante and Mr. Casey about Parnell and comes to realise his longing for maturity may be misguided especially when Dante and Mr Casey argue using Stephen as their future proof, that he will remember “the language he heard against God and religion and priests in his own home” and “…the language with which the...
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