A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 68 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
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In literary terms, one of the revolutionary aspects of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the fact that there is no actual plot to the book. Instead, the progress of the novel is organized around the growing consciousness of the central character, Stephen Dedalus. His consciousness of the world around him is an ongoing theme and is developed differently in each of the book's five chapters. He experiences many types and levels of consciousness. Moreover, Joyce uses a highly original "stream-of-consciousness" technique to render Stephen's thoughts and experiences.

Stephen's initial consciousness comes through his five senses, a theme that is introduced on the first page. Here Joyce reports Stephen's awareness of how his father's face looks, how the wet bed feels, the "queer smell" of the oil sheet and the nice smell of his mother. He sings a song and listens to his mother's...

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This section contains 1,489 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the 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 Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.