A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Essay

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In the excerpt below, O'Neill illustrates how Joyce's understanding, appreciation, and use of myth in forming one's identity is revealed in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

The Literary Revival of turn-of-the-century Dublin was much concerned with expressing Irish aspirations through heroes. Finn and Cuchullain supplied imaginatively what Ireland had not been able to achieve in reality: an Irish hero who vanquished all foes. Joyce's contempt for this form of self-consolation is well documented. In his broadside "The Holy Office" he parodies Yeats as he declares that he, Joyce, "must not accounted be / One of that mumming company." Stephen of Stephen Hero devotes much energy to debunking the Revival. What is perhaps less well known is that Joyce's initial contempt gave way to a profound understanding of the psychology of the Revival and of the uses of myth in the creation of identity.

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This section contains 2,765 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Study Guide
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