Imagery And Symbolism In

Topics: Novel, Symbol, James Joyce Pages: 9 (2338 words) Published: May 29, 2015
Imagery and Symbolism in “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” Imagery and Symbolism:
Imagery and symbolism are two literary conventions used in a variety of genres including poetry. They are both used in similar ways to enhance an author’s message or theme. Imagery is a technique that uses strong sensory words to create a vivid mental picture for the reader, so that he or she can see something as the author sees it. It is related to the five Senses, sigh , sound ,smell and touch . Symbolism, on the other hand, is the use of a concrete object to stand for a concept, idea, or situation. Symbolism is something that represents something else. Many authors use imagery and symbolism together to enhance the overall theme of a literary work, but they can also be used separately. Imagery & Symbolism in A portrait of Artist as a Young Man:

Imagery and symbolism play an important role in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It is a significant fact about the novel that many of the chief images are suggested, right at the beginning of the novel. Some important images are that of the cow, the rose, the woman, birds, and water. At the start of the novel we also made aware of the way his father looks (sight), the songs that sung to him and the clapping of uncle Charles and Dante (sound), the feeling when he wets the bed (touch), and the reward of a “cachou” (cashew-taste).All these represents the imagery in the novel .Most of the times these images have a symbolic function also. Some of the characters are also symbolic. The major images in the novel embody Stephan’s experience, preparing us for realization which could not occur without them. 1. Title:

The obvious theme of The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man is hinted in the title-the depiction of the emergence of a young man as an artist. The word portrait is also symbolic in a sense that it is used for the novels in which there is a character sketch of writer’s personality. There are many autobiographical elements in the novel. It is the record of the mental development of Joyce as an artist. 2. Stephen and Dedalus:

The name Joyce chose for his character, like most things in his books, has much meaning behind it. The name Stephen is taken from Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, stoned to death in 34 A.D. Rejecting and rebelling against the social, national, religious, and even artistic order and circumstances that were pervasive in Ireland, Joyce’s Stephen chooses to create and follow his own uninherited and uninhibited style, his art, and is thus condemned by the Irish (when Joyce’s books were first being published they held public burnings of them in Ireland).The second recurrent symbol is mythic, specifically of the myth of Dedalus and his son Icarus. Stephen’s queer surname is derived from the mythic hero Dedalus. One obvious way in which the mythic symbol is introduced is through the name of the hero , Stephen Dedalus. Stephen is compared sometimes to the hero Dedalus and sometimes to his impetuous son, Icarus. As a child at Colongwes in Chapter 1,Stephen is questioned by a classmate :”What kind of name is that?” and although he is unable to grasp the meaning of such a remark he begins to sense that his unusual last name may be the portent of some future destiny. Later in the novel Stephen identifies himself directly to the mythic hero. Sometimes he identifies himself with the crafty inventor Dedalus who devised an escape from the Laybrinth. For Stephen Dublin is a modern Laybrinth from which he want to escape In the chapter 5 as he stands on the steps of the university library he gazes at the bird’s flight above him ,and he is reminded of that ‘hawk like man’ Stephen believes that he must leave Ireland in order to be free. 3. Moocow:

The novel begins with the earliest memories of Stephen’s childhood.He recounts the story of his father about a moocow. Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this...
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