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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Essay | Critical Essay #1

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Critical Essay #1

Hochman, who teaches at Portland Community College, analyzes whether Joyce's hero should be viewed as either serious or absurd, and he discusses references to Greek mythology in the book.

James Joyce's first published novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), recounts Stephen Dedalus's struggle to understand and then break free of family, church, and country. The journey of this representative young artist is a growing apart or wrenching away from increasingly imprisoning influences, in Stephen's case, from an economically impoverished home, a theologically impoverished Catholic Church, and the politically impoverished nationalism of Irish independence. Crucial here is that familial, religious, and national "railings" that first fascinate and guide the child increasingly become "bars" that imprison the adult. The task of the artist, then, is to break free of these constraints and from their bars forge new and better formations. The artist will create not only...

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This section contains 2,182 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Study Guide
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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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