Friday, December 7, 2007

Passage Explication Assignment—James Joyce Period 5


For this Essay on James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, you need to combine two passage explications to create an original thesis.


  • Your paper should be about your strand. This should be the title of the paper.

  • One passage needs to be from chapter 1 and one passage needs to be from chapter 2.

  • One passage needs to be something we have not covered in class.

  • This should be 4-6 pages, typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman.

  • Please post on the blog on Monday. Leave spaces between paragraphs for formatting.
Reminder to read the handout on passage explications and go through this process.

A passage explication is an essay that takes apart the pieces of a prose passage to demonstrate how it creates meaning – its main question can be reduced to the simple idea of “What does the passage mean? What is its purpose? How does it create that meaning and achieve its purpose? How does it fit in with the rest of the text (if available)?”

Due Monday, December 10th, between 7a.m. and 7p.m.

Period 5 Post here. Period 5 Post here. Period 5 Post here.

29 comments:

Ricki L5 said...

In the two passages in chapters one and two of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the author suggests that the character Stephen Dedalus struggles with his faith in the church with the deceiving prefect of studies who wrongly punishes Stephen, and Stephen's moral struggle when writing his poem.

The first passage takes place in Father Arnell's classroom where the prefect of studies punishes Stephen for his story he told about losing his glasses. Stephen is very meek, and has done no wrong, but in the prefect's eyes, Stephen is just another typical, lying kid. The author first reveals Stephen's unease at the beginning of the passage. "its was unfair and cruel because the doctor had told him not to read without glasses and he had written home to his father that morning to send him a new pair"(58). The author puts the fact that the doctor tells Stephen not to read without glasses because a doctor is one who cures illnesses and aliments with medicine, not with hope, prayer, and faith as the church would often propose. Stephen then questions the prefect's intentions, in which the author suggests Stephen's thoughts on the power of the prefect. "Then to be called a schemer before the class and to be pandied when he always got the card for first or second and was the leader of the Yorkists! How could the prefect of studies know that it was a trick?"(58-59). Then the prefect of studies is portrayed as a deceiving man, something a priest generally isn't viewed as, suggesting the corruption and cruel nature Stephen perceives from the experience. "He felt the touch of the prefect's fingers as they steadied his hand and at first he had thought that he was going to shake hands with him because the fingers were soft and firm: but then in an instant he had heard the swish of the soutane sleeve and the crash"(59). The author uses imagery to complete the scene with the prefect's "...whitegrey face and the noncoloured eyes behind the steel-rimmed spectacles were cruel looking because he had steadied his hand first with his firm soft fingers and that was to hit better and louder"(59). With all the elements in the passage, the author creates the tense and uneasy feeling between Stephen and the priest.

The second passage takes place when Stephen is home daydreaming about Ellen while trying to write his own poem, which is seemingly sexual. As Stephen writes the poem, the tone of the passage is melancholy, as displayed in the poem's description. "Some undefined sorrow was hidden in the hearts of the protagonists as they stood in silence beneath the leafless trees and when the moment of farewell had come the kiss, which had been withheld by one, was given by both"(74). The author uses symbolism to portray Stephen's possible unconscious feelings. "Undefined sorrow" could be the fact that Stephen is unaware of his growing conflict as he comes to the age where childhood begins to fade. The image of "leafless trees" refers to how trees are bare during the winter; a sure symbol of decay, in this case, Stephen's innocence. The kiss in which is described as being "withheld by one" represents the unease Stephen feels when a kiss is no longer an innocent act. After Stephen writes his poem, he makes sure that he writes L.D.S., a Jesuit motto, at the bottom of the page. "After the letters L.D.S. were written at the foot of the page and, having hidden the book, he went into his mother's bedroom and gazed at his face for a long time in the mirror of her dressingtable"(74). After writing a poem which could be interpreted by a priest as having sinful thoughts, Stephen puts L.D.S. as if to purify his natural desires as a boy. The author juxtaposes the two in the passage to show that Stephen is struggling with his morals and desires. Not only does Stephen write the Jesuit motto, but he also goes into his mother's room, suggesting a longing to be a child.

In conclusion, the author uses several factors such as imagery, juxtaposing ideas and images, tone, and character's to show that Stephen struggles with the ideas and morals of the church.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

Often times humans can find it difficult to maintain a pureness about themselves or stray away from a sinful nature all together. It can be easier for people to give into physical wants and desires than to abstain from them. In the novel, “A Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man”, the author, James Joyce, suggest that pureness and the emotion, love/lust, cannot coexists. According to the Holy Bible people cannot be pure and have impure thoughts like the lust? Not only is lust a sin but also in the Bible it’s considered one of the seven deadly sins.

“White roses and red roses: those were beautiful colours to think of. And second place and third place were beautiful colours too: pink and cream and lavender”(pg. 25, Joyce), says the main character in the novel, Stephen. The reader can see while reading the book that Stephen in fact is the character that is suffering with being pure and falling into the sinful nature of love/lust. In the scene when Stephen is being taught sums in class, by a priest he drifts off in his mind, noticing the white and red silk, rose, badges that the other boys in his class are wearing. Joyce creates an innocent tone in this scene. Stephen never really goes into depth with his description of the roses or why he prefers the two colours, red and white, instead of the other ones. The way Stephen doesn’t elaborate makes this thought he is having childish. Stephen goes on saying, “Lavender and cream and pink roses were beautiful to think of. Perhaps a wild roes might be like those colours and he remembered the song about the wild rose blossoms on the little green place. But you could not have a green rose. But perhaps somewhere in the world you could.”(pg.25) Stephen lacks concentration like many children do and Joyce’s use of words makes it obvious.
Joyce uses the roses as symbols. The colors of roses have different meanings behind them. It’s interesting how Stephan gives white and red roses first place and the other color roses second place. White roses are often associated with brightness and pureness; red roses and often associated with romance and love. Joyce uses the roses, foreshadowing what is to come in Stephen’s life. Love and Pureness give Stephen a hard time as the story goes on. Stephen is young at this point and really doesn’t seem to have a sense of what romance is really about but as the story goes on he starts to have the feeling of a teenage.

Stephen is a little older when he attempts writes his poem titled “To E --- C ---”. (pg. 73) Stephen titles his poem this way because “He had seen similar titles in the collected poems of Lord Byron” (pg. 73); Byron was known for not only his poems but also for love affairs, debts, separation, and allegations of incest and sodomy. “He saw himself sittig at his table in Bray the morning after the discussion at the Christmas dinnertable, trying to write a poem about Parnell on the back of one of his father’s second moiety notices. But his brain had then refused to grapple with the theme and, desistiong, he had covered the the names and adressess of certain of his classmates…”(pg 73 - 74), Stephen is having writers block and this poem is not coming out right and Joyce creates this melancholy and frustrated tone. It also like Stephen depressed that he can’t complete this poem. “There remained no trace of the tram itself nor of the trammen nor of the horses: nor did he and she appear vividly. The verses told only of the night and the balmy breeze and the maiden lustre of the moon.” Stephen mind is to innocent and pure to create a poem dealing with love and romance. The way Joyce switches the time of the story around from when Stephen’s young and then to when he’s older gives the reader an impression of how Stephan’s longs to mature but really isn’t getting there. Stephan is a perfect example of how it impossible to have purity and lust.

Ronald d5 said...

Pop Politics

In James Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” Joyce concludes that it is important to care about the how the government is run. Joyce displays that the people of nineteenth century Ireland were heavily concerned with well being of their country and the way it was run. The government maintained Ireland and that is what the people worried about most, the politics. Joyce gives us insight into this idea by providing dialogue, and allusion. The subject is discussed casually and also debated upon in the text.

Dedalus is the young protagonist in the story and he grows up in nineteenth century Ireland. During his childhood, he bumps into many important subjects dealing with religion, corruption, and politics. His world around him is run by the Catholic Church but his father and his father’s friends hate that fact and seem to always debate over it and tell stories about it. Mr. Dedalus and his friends think that Ireland should be run by a government not too closely linked to the church since the church had ruined Charles Stewart Parnell ‘s life when he was leading the Parliament.

Politics was on the minds of everyone at this period in time and even openly discussed at the dinner table. “We go to the house of God, Mr. Casey said, in all humility to pray to our maker and not to hear election addresses.” (39) Dante sparks an argument between Simon, Mr. Casey, and herself about the church and government. Mr. Dedalus and Mr. Casey are on the same side and agree that the church had contributed to the death of Parnell who was doing so well in the Irish National Party and seemed a promising leader that would attain independence from England. Yet Dante defends her thought that “The bishops and priests of Ireland have spoken… and must be obeyed” (40) no matter what the subject. The people’s refusal “have no political discussion of all days in this year” (40) how hot the subject of politics really is. James Joyce places this dialogue in this part of the book to show how important of a subject politics is. The setting at this moment in the story is Christmas dinner where it should be a happy and calm time. He places this heated argument in this setting to show that politics were that important that people would not “let the matter drop” (40) and even ruin a Christmas dinner debating about it. Joyce creates a serious tone in this passage also to stress the importance of the matter. The three people go offensively about their dispute.

All the people around Stephen have something to say about the political workings of Ireland. Joyce creates this reminder of politics to show how the importance and influence politics had on the people. Later in the story when Stephen is in college, he spends his summers in Blackrock with his father and his uncle. One day Mr. Dedalus and Stephen go out where they chat but soon his father starts to die internally which is when Stephen tries to draw old vivid memories yet all Stephen can remember “only names: Dante, Parnell, Clane, Clongowes.“ (89) Joyce embeds Parnell in Stephen’s memory to convey the fact that politics were important. Parnell is an allusion Parnell manipulates referring to the Irish National Party which was the government of Ireland. People usually only remember key parts or important events in their lives. In this case Stephen’s “memory of his childhood suddenly grew dim,” (89) so the memories that did stick would show that it was more significant. Then small pieces start to come back to Stephen and he realizes “Parnell had died. There had been no mass for the dead in the chapel and no procession.” (89) Joyce uses this allusion referring back to how Parnell had died. Parnell passed away after condemnation from the church. When he died there was no real funeral for him nor procession for him because of his sin.

Joyce conveys the idea that people should be active in their countries politics. It is how a country is run and that the citizens of a country should take part and care about their country’s politics because it can affect lives. The people of Ireland take up a strong knowledge in politics because it changed what could have been. If Parnell was not condemned by the church for his affair, Ireland at that point in time could have been independent from England. Joyce portrays scenes of politics as a part of daily lives of the Irish citizens to show how important it was to them.

Chris O5 said...

The struggle within religion



Throughout the novel of A portrait of the artist as a young man , James Joyce uses the different views of certain characters to demonstrate the struggle between Religion and god as well as politics. Causing for Stephen to struggle with his decision of what point of view to follow.

As Mr. Dedalus, Mr. Casey was discussing their point of views of each other’s religion. They were discussing how Mr. Casey was not a protestant and how Mr. Dedalus. As they were discussing each other ideas of religion Stephen could not help but to be intrigued by the discussion. The stage is being set up for a struggle that is going to change the life of Stephen and have him notice instance where he would feel confusion because he than began to think about Eileen not as a woman but as something very great such as the Tower of Ivory. “Stephen looked with affection at Mr. Casey’s face which started across the table over his joined hands. He liked to sit near him at the fire, looking up at his dark fierce face. But his ark eyes were never fierce and his slow voice was good to listen to. But why was he then against the priests? Because Dante must be right then. But he had heard his father say that she was a spoiled nun and that she had come out of the convent in the Alleghanies when her brother had got the money from the savages from the trinkets and the chainies. Perhaps that made her severe against Parnell. And she did not like him to play with Eileen because Eileen was a protestant and when she was young she knew children that used to play with Protestants and the Protestants used to make fun of the litany of the Blessed Virgin.” (Pg 44-45 Joyce). During the discussion of how different the point of views of Mr Dedalus was a protestant and Mr. Casey had more of a political approach to anything. Stephen was more confused than ever because he was sitting in front of people who both made compelling arguments The Opposition of Mr. Casey and Mr. Deadlus is demonstrating how the Country of Ireland was starting to struggle with religion and having political ideas co-exist. Mr. Casey who was not a protestant demonstrated his views of religion and that he was siding with Parnell because he was for the country of Ireland. When he begins to tell his story about the time that he was coming out of his meeting and there was brawl where an old woman and drunken man approached very close to his face and started to taunt him. The people of the square started to call him a Priesthunter. Priesthunters were people who were paid informers in penal times who would turn in proscribed priest. When Stephen was growing up he was taught to believe in everything that is Catholic but as Mr. Casey and Mr. Deadlus were talking Stephen started to wonder the political way that Mr. Casey thought but he was also hearing Dante defend the Catholic religion. This made Stephen try and figure out which one of the two points of views had a better argument.


As Stephen would go to school he encountered friends who were very close because they did everything together such as Heron. When Heron confronts Stephen about the fact that him and his friend saw this girl which he image they were teasing but in a playful way it wasn’t until he started to get forceful that Stephen starts to get scared and does what he thought was best from the situation that was being presented. “ A shaft of momentary anger flew through Stephen’s mind at these indelicate allusions in the hearing of a stranger. For him there was nothing amusing in a girl’s interest and regard. All day he had thought of the stream of moody emotions it had made to course though him, and the poem he had written about it. All day he had imagined a new meeting with her for he knew that she was to come to the play. The old restless moodiness had again filled his breast as it had done on the night of edge of two years of boyhood stood between then and now, forbidding such an outlet in verse… Stephen’s movement of anger had already passed. He was neither flattered nor confused but simply wished the banter to end. He scarcely resented what had seemed to him at first a silly indelicateness for he knew that the adventure in his mind stood in no danger from their words: and his face mirrored his rival’s false smile.
-Admit! Repeated heron, striking him again with his cane across the calf on the leg. The stroke was playful but not so lightly given as the first one had been. Stephen felt the skin tingle and glow slightly and almost painlessly; and bowing submissively, as if to meet his companions jesting mood began to recite the Confiteor. The episode ended well for Heron and Wallis laughed indulgently at the irreverence” (Pg 79-80 Joyce)


When Heron and Willis he started to start the beginning of a Confiteor were confronting Stephen and it is in preparation of a confession because according to his friends he had sin in front of the eyes of gods and they thought of themselves as being superior to Stephen. When Stephen was not admitting to the sin that he had committed Heron had decided to hit him on the leg to try and have him confess for the sins that he had done. This is a form of foreshadowing because he had a bad experience with one of the people that he trusted the most in school. Heron was thought to be using a form of Catholicism and when he had spoke the words of his sin than he would remember at the cost it had come to for Stephen to confess. This will cause for him to later experience a struggle of him wanting to accept the religion because of the way his “friends” had treated him in the way just to get him to confess the sin he has committed.

The struggle that Stephen feels with his religion and the changing world around him change from every experience that he has causing him to feel turmoil and confusion more than ever. It seems the more that he grows up the more he starts to get his own mind and the struggle starts to become harder and harder.

Rodney B5 said...

Rodney
Period 5
English 12 H

Parnell in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

In “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man “, James Joyce uses Charles Parnell and politics in order to show the split in society between politics and the catholic church, or any other religion, and how people are influenced by both of these factors. Mr.Dedalus is one of the people is very influenced by politics and believes that they play a major role in the future of Ireland along side Mr.Casey while other characters like Dante believe the Church should not be challenged by anybody. Both sides argue against one another and view things their own way. This shows the result both factors have in the world.

Stephen Dedalus is constantly around the ideas of the church and of the ideas of political figures such as Parnell. Obviously, everything around him is greatly influenced by the Catholic Church, including himself. People around him are very devoted Catholics and are very strict on the ideas that they follow. But his father, Mr. Dedaulus, is very political and is one who believes that the government should be run separately than the church. Parnell is the main political figure shown.

Parnell and politics versus the Catholic Church was part of an argument that Mr. Dedalus, Mr.Casey, and Dante had one day during dinner. “‘I’ll pay you you dues, father, when you cease turning the house of God into a pollingbooth.’ ‘A nice answer, said Dante, for any man calling himself a catholic to give to his priest.’”(Joyce 41) Dedalus along side Mr.Casey, believe the Catholic Church should not be a part of the government. They see the Church as a bad influence on people’s judgment when it is time to elect people into office. Dante disagrees. “‘It is religion, Dante said. They are doing their duty in warning the people.’”(Joyce 41) Her belief is that the Catholic Church should not be questioned whatsoever. She feels they are warning people but the men see other wise saying “We go to the house of God, Mr.Casey said, in all humility to pray to our Maker and not to hear election addresses.’”(Joyce 41) This conversation continues and becomes very argue mental. It is a very touchy subject for them and the people in Ireland. Though it is not stated, Dedalus and Casey seem to blame the Catholic Church for the death of Parnell. They saw him as the future leader of Ireland to help the people get out of the struggle that they go through on a day to day basis. He was a very important figure to them. Joyce places all these talks about Parnell and politics to show the reader that everybody is torn into two sides of this subject, even friends and family alike. Though they are at dinner, an argument arises which seems to get very intense that Mr. Dedalus and Mr.Casey try to end before it gets out of control but Dante refuses. She is too shocked by the words coming out of their mouths over the Church.

Stephen, no matter where he is, is constantly hearing things about Parnell and politics even though he may not understand all of it so clearly. This is brought up constantly by James Joyce in order to emphasize the importance and the influence this had on everybody’s ideas. Not only is Parnell shown to us by Joyce but he is also shown to Stephen in order for him to know the truth of everything going on around him. While he is walking with his father he realizes he cannot remember much of his childhood but remembers a few names. “‘The memory of his childhood suddenly grew dim. He tried to call forth some of its vivid moments but could not. He recalled only names: Dante, Parnell, Clane, Clongowes.’”(Joyce 92) Out of the names he states, Parnell is one of them. This further emphasizes that Joyce is showing the important of politics more and more. Parnell is a significant character since he did play a great role in Ireland even when the Church seemed to go against him. Stephen continues by saying “‘Parnell had died. There had been no mass for the dead in the chapel and no procession. He had not died but he had faded out like a film in the sun. He had been lost or had wandered out of existence for he no longer existed.’”(Joyce 92) Joyce bring this up because it shows how the Catholic Church tried to get rid of all the ideas Parnell had brought up by even going as far as pretending that he did not existence. Parnell was a big threat to the Catholic Church’s power so his existence was erased. He still remained remembered though, even by Stephen. The Church’s attempt did not seem to work.

James Joyce’s constant ideas of Parnell and politics are mentioned to show the important politics has on the world. In Ireland, Parnell was there to help the people and was seen as the one to lead the Irish people out of all the problems they had but the Catholic Church condemned him which eventually lead to his death. He could have easily helped Ireland become free and help the Irish people. Parnell was there in order to help the people and is brought up to show his affect and influence on the people of Ireland.

Wendy C.5 said...

Myth of Oedipus in “The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”

In The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce portrays that the main character Stephen similar tragic hero while maturing through the state of adolescent. Mostly it is compare d more to the character Oedipus. The Myth Oedipus is a Greek legend of a prince who suffers the fate of killing his own father and marrying his own mother. Stephen, however, is not fated to similar be to Oedipus, but emotionally feel the same as Oedipus. Joyce displays the emotion that appears in Stephen’s life through the setting of the situation and the developing maturity with internal conflicts. The emotions that Stephen encounters flow parallel to the tragic feelings of Oedipus takes on as part of his fate.

In the passage when the students of the boarding school question him about kissing his mother, Joyce displays a common trait that both Oedipus and Stephen has. Stephen says that “he kisses his mother every night.”(26) The result of that the students made fun of him. After rejecting the fact that he kisses his mother, the other kids still make fun of him. Stephen shows that he has a feeling for his mother. Joyce created this situation to portray the trait by creating the internal conflict of which answer was right. His kiss represents the love for his mother. Questioning himself gives some significance relating to the love he has for his mother. He even thought of the very deep detail of how his mother kisses him. He describes that “her lips were soft” (27) and that it “wetted his cheek” (27) making the kissing. In the previous passages, Stephen shows great bond with his mother. He always wants his mother to help and protect him. When he was beginning his schooling, he thought of how nice his mother is. When he felt homesick, he called out for his mother. The love and dependence toward his mother gives the idea of Stephen having a mother complex to the readers.

Compared to Oedipus, Stephen is the same. Oedipus was fated to kill his father and married his mother which Oedipus shows love toward his mother. Oedipus does not know that he married his mother. He was taken in by the king and queen of another city when he was abandoned as a baby. He tries to avoid his fate, but his fate was sealed from the beginning. He never actually knows about the identities of his true parent. As he had already married to his mother, Oedipus can kiss his mother. They became intimate with each other. They bear two sons and two daughters from the relationship. To love his mother so much, Oedipus made incest to the one who gave birth to him. Oedipus has the same complex that Stephen has. Both of them have feeling toward their mother, but did not know it. All of their feelings come from their sub-conscience. Both of did not acknowledge that they have feelings for their mother. They have the Oedipus complex, where the child shows affection toward the parent of the opposite sex. James Joyce uses the concept of Oedipus Complex to describes how Stephen as a growing young adolescent have some feeling innocence and maturing to understand women sub-consciously.

As the book went along, Stephen does not only the similar mother complex. He felt the hatred toward himself as Oedipus did. In the chapter where Stephen’s dad gives off the feeling of being dead when he reminisces into his past, Stephen begin to feel humiliation because of his father and other factors. After the play, Stephen felt anger and humiliation for playing a certain part. His “pride and hope and desire” (87) were crushed and burning the “eyes of his mind” (87). His pride is wounded, hopes fallen and “baffled desires” (87). In the end, it clears away. His resentment toward himself cleared. Joyce created this effect showing the agony of Stephen by putting him in the situation where he has to play his part to the end. Joyce uses descriptions and setting to create the emotion. Joyce created this scene for the purpose of showing Stephen growing from his youthful childhood.

In a similar situation, Oedipus resented himself because he played the exact part in the prophecy. He played his role as the murderer of his father and his mother’s lover with out knowing. It pains him for following fate. His mother also known as his wife committed suicide. Out of humiliation and agony of horror, he blinded himself. He resented himself for following his tragic destiny, so he spends the rest of his life being a blind man and assisted by Antigone. Joyce use deep emotional words and show some of the myth into Stephen’s situation to show the similarity between the two. Stephen, at the end, has “a film still veiled his eye.” (87) It is similar to how Oedipus ends up blind though it is temporary. Blinding himself settled his resentment. Stephen and Oedipus were blinded by the “wounded pride.” (87) Stephen was wounded by the part in the play and Oedipus was wounded by the role he takes on in fate. After being blinded, Oedipus leaves his agony of horror and humiliation and continues living as a blind man. Stephen was the same. He leaves his emotion of humiliation after he was blinded by his wounded pride.

However, Joyce created Stephen to be similar to Oedipus in a way but not fated walk the same path that Oedipus was destined to. They are both linked by the emotions and feeling that they both feel due to the events that occur. It gives a sense of things that Stephen’s upbringing is similar to Oedipus. They are mostly linked through emotion. Oedipus shows his love toward his own mother similar to Stephen who also loves his mother. Both living with the Oedipus Complex. They both felt shame and humiliation toward their part. They hated themselves for the roles that they are pitched up against. Hurting in pride, desire, and hope, they suffer the pain. They resolve it with their own power. Stephen is like the modern version of Oedipus by feeling. The emotion of Oedipus was linked to Stephen to show the difficulties in life that Oedipus is going through and how he feels as he grow in to adolescence. Joyce uses Stephen to portray the modern version of Oedipus through emotions to show a path from child to adolescent years of a human being.

Mark D5 said...
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Mark D5 said...
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Mark D5 said...

The Movement of Water In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

In The Portrait of the Artist As A young Man, James Joyce uses the movement of water as way of showing the tragic hero, Stephen Dedalus's coming of age as well as his lose of innocence. Originally, Joyce names the protagonist's name Stephen Hero. This was to show that Stephen was in fact the tragic hero. He did have some flaw which will utlimately lead to his downfall. Although to follow his Greek mythology theme he names his character Dedalus. Daedalus, the father of Icarus, was a tragic hero along with his son. Daedalus had the passion to change the laws of nature and in doing so his son was quietly killed by the powerful sea.

When boys at Dedalus' school are having a conversation about two other boys who got kicked out for performing some kind of homosexual play in the school urinal Joyce has Stephen remember Eileen, the first girl that Stephen ever had an attraction for This seems rather odd because what they boys are talking about is dirty and sinful and Stephen is remembering one of the purest memories he has. " Eileen had long thin cool white hands too because she was a girl. They were like ivory: only soft." ( Joyce 51). Ivory symbolizes the utmost purity. Joyce describes Stephen's first encounter with a girl not of his family and he is awestruck by how innocent and pure she was.
According to Sigmund Freud's Oedipus Complex every man had an unconcious desire to grow up to kill their father and marry their mother. Joyce was well away of Freud theory and used it throughout his writing of the novel. The Doors put it best in their song "Then End" by having spoken lyrics that went " Father? - Yes, Son - I want to kill you - Mother, I want to...". Although the Doors, did fit the Oepdipus complex nicely into their music, Joyce consistently has the symbol of eyes throughout his story. Joyce has Stephen's eyes symbolize his manhood. When he is with Eileen she innocently covers his eyes to play as game which is somewhat like hid-and-go seek. Symbolically Stephen's eyes are being torn out because he fells he is sinning by having thoughts about Eileen.
Eileen is a Tower of Ivory, a House of Gold. In the passage in which Joyce describes Eileen he uses the movement of water for the first time in a pure sense. " Her fair hair had streamed out behind her like the gold in the sun. Tower of Ivory. House of Gold." (51). Joyce describes how her hair streams. To stream is to flow like water, tears, or blood. Joyce has water and tears in his novel and each time they are mentioned they are for purposes to enrich the fact that Dedalus is not in a happy place in his life. But Eileen is different. Her hair streams. This is the only time that the movement of water is symbolizes how happy Dedalus can be as well as his lose of innocence. Eileen is a real girl he doesn't have to imagine in his head and that makes him happy that her hands can touch him and her hair can stream. He actually is starting to have thoughts about girls not in a pure way and it is confusing him. At this point in the passage, Joyce takes the reader back to story of couple of children "smuggling" (50) in the urinal. After having water for once be a sense of happiness as well as lose of innocence Joyce uses water only for lose of innocence. Stephen wonders why the boys were in the urinal smuggling. " But why in the square? You went there when you wanted to do something. It was all thick slabsa slate and water trickled all day out of tiny pinholes and there was a queer smell of stale water there." (51). The end of the passage beautifully symbolizes the movement of water. Joyce decided that the dirty and sinful act that the boys were performing would take place in the urinal. Water dripped all day out of the tiny holes in the slates. Stephen is realizing how sinful a people can be and Joyce rightly puts wthe trickling of water in his mind while thinking of this.
Later on in Stephen's life his lose of innocence becomes recognized. In Autumn, the time of death, he can no longer stand the sight of cows which were so interesting and beautiful to him before. " But when autumn came the cows were driven home from the grass: and the first sight of the filthy cowyard at Stradbrook with its foul green puddles and cots of liquid dung and steaming brantroughs sickened Stephen's heart." (68). The liquid is now used to symbolize the harsh truth that Stephen is going through changes. He is not the young innocent boy anymore. He is becoming an intellectual young man who's eyes are starting to open and is seeing the world for what is actually is : a steaming pile of liquid dung. His character Mercedes earlier became the first girl he had sexual relations with and now the world is not quite the same. Whether Mercedes was in his head or real nontheless he still lost his innocence and Joyce that through the movement of water. " The cattle which had seemed so beautiful in the country on sunny days revolted him and he could not even look at the milk they yielded" (68). The milk that the cows yielded is a form of moving water. Dedalus is revolted by this milk that the cows are yielding. In this passage he is coming close to adulthood but still has a way to go.
Whether movement of water is used to symbolize purity or the lose of Dedalus's disgust for what he once loved Joyce is always using water to show the lose of Stephen's innocence.

Kenneth M5 said...

Church in The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The direction and purpose of he the church is questioned in this novel. Joyce uses he discussion and disputes between characters, like the one at Christmas dinner at the Dedalus’s house, as well as symbolism and allusion, such as Stephen’s church visit with his uncle Charles. Stephen is shown different ways to look at religion, which we are meant to see. We are also meant to pick on more symbolic suggestion that characters in the novel aren’t meant to pick up on.
The discussion at dinner was a very heated one. The main discussion was over the issue of the priest “turning the house of God into a polling booth.”(41) Dante was offended by this statement because she believes “any man calling himself a catholic”(41) should follow what the priest suggests. The fact the character dispute the correctness of the combination of church and state. Mr. Dedalus and Mr. Casey believe that the church should be used to “pray to our Maker.” The thought of questioning God was never brought up in the discussion.
An even bigger and wider idea was brought up by Dante. Dante sees the church as the people who “must direct their flocks.”(41) This concept of the church goers as a flocks suggest that people who attend church are birds, and not free thinking human beings. She sees the church goers, and therefore herself, as beings who need someone to tell them what to do, and she finds it in the God the church preaches about.
There is an interesting transition from the topic. Mrs. Dedalus brings up food, but at the same time puts “down her knife and fork.”(41) This is interesting because Confucian belief that the knife and fork held a violent connotation to them. Knives were always used as a weapon before it was a utensil, and the fork resembles a miniature pitchfork or trident. So, Mrs. Dedalus put down the aggressive “weaponry” in order to bring a peace.
The topic of discussion was then brought to food for a moment, then quickly shift back. Food is a very primal thing that every creature looks for. The topic shifts from a very thought driven need, to the physical need. Then the religious topic gets brought up again. This quick change suggests that one may try to cover up the mental needs with the physical, but the mental needs are much more important to everyone as people.
When the religious dispute gets brought up again, it gets brought up by Dante. This whole discussion was fired up by her. There was another interesting eastern collation that could be derived from this. The Yin Yang is a common symbol. The opposing colors and ideas behind them can be used to derive a higher meaning. Yin is the dark side of the symbol and is associated with the darkness, negativity, and femininity, which bring up the parallel. A woman brings up the concept of the church forcing their political views on he people, therefore suggesting that a completely controlling religion is a negative thing. The Yin of the Yin Yang has some other meanings. The part that Mrs. Dedalus is showing is the passive side of the yin. She wants the discussion to end because confrontation isn’t a passive way to live.
Dante believes that the church was write to be against the leader because he “was a public sinner.”(42) The suggests that Dante believes the church leaders couldn’t have sinned because she wouldn’t follow them. Mr. Casey then brought up that “we are all sinners and black sinners”(42). These opposing views on who should lead suggests another topic of discussion. Should our leaders be thought of as perfect or thought of as people who have sinned like us?
The next part of the book is meant to inspire our own discussion rather than have us view the characters in one. Stephen visits the chapel with his uncle Charles. Uncle Charles “would often pay a visit to the chapel.”(66) The way Joyce phrases that is interesting. He uses the word “pay”(66) as if it is something that uncle Charles owes to someone. It suggests he may not be doing it fully by choice. It’s almost as if Charles is just following the flock, like Dante suggested at the Christmas dinner.
The height of the font is also very meaningful. It is “above Stephen’s reach,”(66) which suggests that Stephen hasn’t grown enough to fully understand religion. He is being brought along by an adult who believes it. This concept of belief being passed on is suggested in how “the old man would dip his hand and then sprinkle the water briskly about Stephen’s clothes” (66). The concept that children are brought along and marginally forced to observe religion until they accept it. This could be suggesting that religion isn’t something one can chose. Its also interesting that Stephen didn’t get hit with any of the water, just his clothes. This could suggest that for Stephen religion is something that he wears on the outside, but doesn’t believe.
The next image is of uncle Charles and Stephen kneeling. Uncle Charles kneels “on his red handkerchief.”(66) Handkerchiefs are used to wipe sweat from your head, or to wipe your nose. Depending on how uncles Charles uses it suggests different thing. If it used for sweat, uncle Charles is presenting his sweat because of hard work before his lord, or if it is used to wipe his nose, he is presenting his sickness. Either way it is presenting uncle Charles as just a human before his lord. He thinks he needs to show his lack of godliness to feel closer to god. Stephen “knelt at his side respect, though he did not share, his piety”(66) This again suggests that Stephen is showing religion on the outside, but doesn’t believe it in his head.
The bible the uncle was using is interesting. It had “catchwords…printed at the foot of every page”(66) Dictionaries also have the catchwords. The parallel brings up the way religion is going. Religion has become too much of a science for people to look for meanings in life, like people look for meanings in a dictionary. Religion’s focus changed from faith to science, even though religion isn’t suppose to be a science.
Overall the view in this book is that God shouldn’t be questioned, but religion should. The fact that God exists was never questioned, but how to follow him is. Some say the church is infallible, while others say only God is. Others think sinners shouldn’t live, others say they are only human. Some think religion is meant to be humanizing. Religion is also shown as something that is inherited. Joyce is trying to suggest that you have to look for your own religion, as long as God is involved, although not necessarily the church.

Derek D5 said...

A Tracing of Fire In “A Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man”

In “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” James Joyce employs the symbol of fire as a means to gauge the main character, Stephen Dedalus’, maturing and subsequently his loss of innocence. In the first two chapters of the novel we see the Character of Stephen mature from a young child to a young adult. We are witnesses to the trials he faces as he grows and the effects his decisions have on his development as a person.
The first chapter of Joyce’s novel covers Stephen’s experiences from when he is no more then a toddler, to when he is a young boy just entering adolescence. During the prepubescent stage of his life, Stephen tends to associate the idea of a fire with the warmth and comfort of his home, and through that idea of home, to memories of his mother. Stephen’s identification with fire is clearly exhibited on page 31 where Stephen is in a place between dreams and reality he states that, “He saw the dark entrance hall of the castle. Old Servants in old dress were in the ironing room above the stair case. It was long ago. The old servants were quiet. There was a fire there but the hall was still dark. A figure came up the staircase from the hall. He wore the white cloak of a marshal; his face was pale and strange; he held his hand pressed to his side. He looked strange eyes at the old servants. They looked at him and saw their master’s face and cloak and knew that he received his deathwound … Their master had received his deathwound on the battlefield of Prague far away over seas. ” The man in a “white cloak of a marshal” is a reference to a noble born man of the Browne family was killed in battle in 1757 and his ghost was seen by the servants in the home. The man died in Prague a city many miles from his home. But his spirit returns to his home. Joyce specifically mentions a lightless fire to help the reader make a connection. That connection is the value that people put on returning home. Earlier in the novel Stephen only thought of when he could return home to sit with his mother beside the fire. It is common in older societies to refer to a person’s home as their hearth. A hearth was literally the fireplace in your home. For years the Hearth was an integral aspect of a home since it was necessary for heating and cooking meals. Joyce wants his readers to make the connection between Stephen’s memories of his home and the warm feeling he gets when he reviews those memories to ensure that there is a point to compare young adult Stephen to his younger self. As Stephen grows older he begins to lose his innocence. Loss of innocence is what happens to all people as they grow. And the novel is centered on Stephen as he grows up.
By the time Stephen is a teenager and attending a Jesuit school, he has become a far more serious character. He has lost the glamour that children see the world through. He now knows that the world outside is an awful place. He has also grown to be a tall sever looking young gentleman. As he has grown taller and presumably wiser, he has also grown apart from his father. At one time Stephen admired his father, he now only views him with disapproval and disgust. Particularly when he and his father go bar hopping and Stephen is forced to see his father as some type of middle aged playboy. Stephen’s views about his father aren’t the only thing that has changed drastically. Joyce no longer uses images of fire to help connect Stephen to his family and their home. His imagery has shifted very far away from the warm cozy ideas the reader was presented with in Stephen’s youth. A fine example of this can be found on page 98, where Stephen has his first personal encounter with a member of the fairer sex. It is stated on this page that, “Such moments passed and the wasting fires of lust sprang up again. The verses passed from his lips and the inarticulate cries and the unspoken brutal words rushed forth from his brain to force a passage…” At this point in the novel Stephen is in a downward spiral, everything around him that at one point made sense in his youth has stopped adding up. He has lost sight of what he once held dear. As a young man Stephen had very strong Christian but as he’s grown those morals have begun to erode. Stephen is in the process of losing a battle inside of himself. This internal conflict is between the morals implanted into him since birth and the baser instincts he has. Joyce has Stephen face to remind the reader that all adolescents face this internal conflict at one point or another. On the same page the theme of fire representing passion is seen again in the same passage, “He walked onward, undismayed, wondering whether he had strayed into the quarter of the jews. Women and girls dressed in long vivid gowns traversed the streets from house to house. They were leisurely and perfumed. A trembling seized him and his eyes grew dim. The yellow gasflames arose before his troubled vision against the vapoury sky, burning as if on and altar. Before the doors and in the lighted halls groups were gathered arrayed as for some rite. He was in another world: he had awakened from a slumber of centuries.” The gas flames mentioned in the passage are the various lights in the area Stephen has wandered into. In a sense he has walked into the cities Red Light District. A place where debauchery is the norm after the sun goes down. This image of multiple lights and an almost holy idea help to illustrate the differences between the two sides of Stephen’s internal conflict. One side is the one spawned from his childhood upbringing and the Christian faith. The other side is closer to a church of the flesh. A place where the earthly desires are acted upon by people, essentially it is the manifestation of the instinctual needs all creatures possess. Joyce uses this new image of fire; as a thing of lust and passion, to show the distinct differences between Stephen as a young boy, and Stephen as a young adult.
Joyce knew exactly what he was doing while writing this novel. He knew what needed to be done with a symbol as common as fire to create a unique way of gauging the changes the main character goes through over just two chapters of a book.

Janelle C. 5 said...

Apollo in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Apollo is commonly known as the Greek God of the Sun, the Arts, Light, and Truth. However, in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, he is one of the many symbols. Apollo affects the protagonist, Stephen’s, life in many ways, but the two largest are in the area of Stephen’s love relationships with others and in Stephen’s experiences and interest in the arts.

Before Apollo’s affect on Stephen’s relationships can be evaluated, it is necessary to understand on of Joyce’s other symbols in the novel; the Tower of Ivory and the House of Gold. In Stephen’s strictly Catholic culture it is stressed that women are to be seen as the Tower of Ivory, or the House of Gold, which is to say they are to be extremely pure. This causes some problems for Stephen, because everyone around so stresses the importance of Catholicism and being moral. So when Stephen gets older and begins to look at women in a sexual light he feels guilty, because they are supposed to be pure; “Eileen had long think cool white hands too because she was a girl. They were like ivory; only soft. That was the meaning of the Tower of Ivory but protestants could not understand it and made fun of it,” (51). Now Apollo’s involvement in Stephen’s relationship with Eileen is shown clearly when Joyce describes Eileen, “Her fair hair had streamed out behind her like gold in the sun,” (51). Apollo is believed to have fair blond hair and his symbol, what he is the God of, is the sun.

Then as a result of Stephen’s guilt from thinking of women sexually, Joyce hints at Stephen’s homosexuality or at least a struggle with his sexuality, and once again this is connected to Apollo. Simon Moonan and a few others of Stephen’s classmates are caught “smuggling,” many of the boys leave the school fearing punishment and humiliation, but Simon Moonan stays. “Stephen looked at the faces of the fellows but they were all looking across the playground. He wanted to ask someone about it. What did it mean about the smuggling in the square? Why did the five fellows out of the higher line run away from that?” (51). Stephen is curious about the whole situation and sees nothing wrong with it. This is Joyce’s first hint at Stephen’s struggle with sexuality. The next comes a few pages later. On page fifty-one Stephen is remembering Eileen’s and the soft, beautiful purity of her hands, then a few pages later Stephen is thinking about a few men’s hands, but without the intense fascination he had with Eileen, which shows that men are less intimidating sexually than women are. There are other, smaller, hints within the book, such as Stephen’s rejection of Mercedes and his inability to bring himself to make the mover and kiss his female companion on page ninety-nine. Apollo’s connection to this subject is the fact that Apollo had numerous mates, many of which were men, which clearly shows that Apollo struggled with his sexuality as well and was himself bi-sexual. Also, look at the character Simon Moonan, the first four letters of the boy’s sir name spells out Moon, which Apollo’s twin sister, Artemis, is the Goddess of.

The entire focus of the story is to get into and understand the mind of an artist, who happens to also be a young man. So far in the book Stephen has tried his hand at two main forms of art; writing, and acting. While acting seems to come slightly more naturally, or without the amount of work, writing does. But still writing and language are Stephen’s key art outlets. Both art forms affect Stephen differently, but still profoundly.

Writing and language are Stephen’s brain children. Writing does take Stephen more tries and labor, but they are labors of love. This idea is shown through out the entire book, as Stephen is constantly pondering things and the word choices people around him make. Writing is Stephen’s way of getting his thoughts out creatively; “There remained no trace of the tram itself nor the trammen nor of the horses, nor did he and she appeared vividly. The verse told only of the night and the balmy breeze and the maiden luster of the moon. Some undefined sorrow was hidden in the hearts of the protagonists as they stood in silence beneath the leafless trees and when the moment of farewell had come the kiss, which had been withheld by one, was given by both,” (74).

Acting is the opposite of writing for Stephen. He was forced to try it, and really had no desire for it at all, but the feeling he received from the crowd made him love it. Writing expresses Stephen’s thoughts, while acting gave him action, let him live. In the section of the book when Stephen takes a trip to Corks with his father Stephen realizes he has a pretty empty life, no real friends, and he doesn’t do a whole lot. Acting is Stephen’s way of capturing the feelings of a fuller life, “A few moments after he found himself on the stage amid the garish gas and the dim scenery, acting before the innumerable faces of the void. It surprised him to see that the play which he had known at rehearsals for a disjointed lifeless thing had suddenly assumed a life of its own. It seemed now to the play itself and he and his fellow actors aiding it with their parts. When the curtain fell on the last scene he heard the void filled with applause and, through a rift in the side scene, saw the simple body before which he had acted magically deformed, the void of the faces breaking at all points and falling asunder into busy groups. …Now that the play was over his nerves cried for some further adventure,” (86). Now, Apollo’s connection to this is very obvious, as Apollo is the God of the arts.

Angela S5 said...

The Use of Language in the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man



Language is one thing in life which allows one to communicate and express one’s deepest feelings. Language also changes and evolves with one’s growth and experience. In two contrasting passages from A Portrait if the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce suggests that the main character Stephen has made a transition from childhood to adolescence. Through his use of childish prose and poetry Joyce reveals that Stephen has changed from a child into an adolescent due to his life experience. Also, through his use of song and poetry Joyce reveals how overtime Stephen becomes an artist and develops a passion for writing. The first passage is when Stephen is a young child who enjoys the simple things in life and the second passage reveals that Stephen has lost this joy due to his life experience and loss of innocence.

The first passage begins the first chapter. There is a quotation before the first paragraph which states, “Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes”(20) which translates to “And he applies his mind to the unknown arts.” The rest of this line, which is not written in the book, is “…and changes the law of nature”. This quotation suggests that Stephen will immerse himself in art, and will change through his experiences with art. The first passage begins with “Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming…down along the road”(20) and “met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo”(20). This first line is written in a childish language and gives a feeling of innocence. James than writes, “his father told him that story”(20). The fact that Stephen can not yet read reveals his lack of knowledge and that he is a child. Stephen than reflects on song lyrics about “…the wild rose blossoms on the little green place”(20). Stephen sang this song, “that was his song”(20). This silly song about roses and grass reveals the simple things that children think about and discover for the first time. This song also is close to Stephen’s heart which begins to reveal Stephen’s first attachment with art and the beauty of words. Stephen than remembers the first time he “wet the bed”(20) and the “queer smell”(20) after his mother put on an “oilsheet”(20). Stephen is young and incapable of certain things and is being cared for by his mother. His mother “played on the piano the sailor’s hornpipe for him to dance”(21). Children are carefree and love to dance and do not need to worry about anything. Stephen than dances and sings “Tralala lala tralala tralaladdy”(21). The nonverbal language of Stephen’s singing reveals his young age and inexperience. Also, he does not know many words and this is the only way he knows how to express joy and happiness. James continues to describe another one of Stephen’s memories about his childhood. He describes his “Uncle Charles and Dante”(21) as they clapped with the music. Stephen than “hid under the table”(21) and his mother said, “O Stephen will apologise”. Stephen is a timid boy and hides under the table because he doesn’t know what else to do when put into an embarrassing situation. Dante than begins to tease him and says, “O, if not the eagles will come and pull out his eyes,”(21). She continues, “Pull out his eyes, Apologise, Apologise, Pull out his eyes…”(21). Stephen is young and these childish rhymes are a part of his language and how he communicates. These silly rhymes may offend and hurt Stephen which reveals his lack of knowledge and innocence.

The second passage takes place during Stephen’s adolescence. He is now more experienced and has felt new emotions and desires. Stephen is at a bar with his father and some of his father’s childhood friends. Stephen watches, “as his father and his two cronies drank to the memory of their past (94). Stephen is now observing his father drink and socialize, when in the first passage his father was reading him a story about a “moocow”. The innocence that Stephen use to have is gone and the relationship between him and his father is tarnished, now that he knows that his father too was once a young boy who lost his innocence. Stephen feels that “his mind seemed older than theirs…” and “no life or youth stirred in him as it had stirred in them”(94). Stephen realizes that he has never had friendships or “filial piety”(940 like his father has and feels that he is older than his father and his friends. He has always been consumed with the art of writing and school and has not formed close friendships. Stephen’s “childhood was dead or lost and with it his soul capable of simple joys…” (94). Stephen has lost his innocence and the ability to love the simple things in life such as silly children’s songs and his father’s stories which brought him joy as a child. Stephen feels like he is “drifting amid life like the barren shell of the moon” (94). Joyce compares Stephen to the moon to suggest that he is lonely and his emotions are forever changing similar to the cycle of the moon. Stephen than recites the first three lines of a poem and says, “Art thou pale for weariness/Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,/wandering companionless…?”(95). The three verses of this poem connect with Stephen and his place in the world at this very moment. This poem also reveals the knowledge and experience that he has gained since the first passage, when he was unable to recite poetry or read at all. He now is capable of expressing his feelings through the art of poetry. These verses suggest that Stephen “is pale for weariness” because he has climbed “heaven” and gazed on the earth or rather has seen the world from a beautiful place, but now knows that the world is filled with sinful things which have caused him to lose his innocence. Stephen repeats these lines “of Shelley’s fragment”(95). The poem’s “alternation of sad human ineffectualness with vast human cycles of activity chilled him: and he forgot his own human and ineffectual grieving”(95). This sentence reveals that this poem makes Stephen realize how lonely and purposeless human’s lives can be, yet the poem allows him to forget about his own grieving and sadness. This form of art or poem takes him to a new place and allows him to forget the feelings of sadness in his life. He has now come full circle and his passion for the art of words is now realized, compared to the first passage when it had just begun. Stephen has lost his innocence and now realizes that art is his passion and that he can use his art to help him cope with the struggles which accompany adolescence.

In the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce reveals that Stephen has changed through his use of childish prose and poetry. At first Stephen is a young innocent boy who finds joys in children songs and being read stories. As the story progresses Stephen loses his innocence and discovers that there is sin in the world. He discovers his love of poetry and is now able to express himself through poetry. As Stephen experiences new things in his life his language evolves and reflects his needs and desires as a human being.

William C5 said...

Politics in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce, Joyce suggests that the negative attributes of people and how violent and out of context they become are shown when discussing politics. Through the tense and frightful argument between Mr. Dedalus/Mr. Casey and Dante, as well as the violent fight between Stephen and Heron/Boland/Nash, Joyce demonstrates how heated and monstrous debates regarding politics, as well as other personal opinions, may become.

In the passage in chapter one where Dante and Mr. Dedalus, alongside with Mr. Casey, undergo a dispute about politics, Joyce exemplifies how different people become and behave as opposed to how calm and well-mannered they usually are. At first enjoying a serene, adult Christmas dinner including first time attendant young Stephen, Dante, Mr. Dedalus, and Mr. Casey, along with everyone else converse mildly. However, as the topic of politics arises, things start to go out of hand. The animosity between the two sides of conflicting adults escalates until they begin to lose themselves, their negative attributes brought forth. Mr. Casey becomes so emotional during the argument that he denounces his religion and exclaims “No God for Ireland … We have had too much God in Ireland. Away with God … Away with God, I say”(46). By being so blunt when speaking about his religion, Mr. Casey is condemned to hell, being a “Blasphemer! Devil … Devil out of hell … Fiend”(46), according to Dante, who abnormally uses vulgar language. Besides insulting his religion, he goes as far as to oppose the moral standards of men and society, and even dares striking a woman, when he “struggle[s] up from his chair and ben[ds] across the table towards [Dante], scraping the air from his eyes with one hand as though he were tearing aside a cobweb”(46). His violent outbursts of hatred and anger are so uncontrollable and powerful, that it takes “Uncle Charles and Mr Dedalus [to pull] Mr Casey back into his chair again”(46).

This violent nature can also be seen in the passage in chapter two where Stephen argues with Heron, Boland, and Nash about who the greatest poet is. Even a small dispute between young boys, about such an insignificant matter about opinion, transitions into a violent display of anger and forceful thinking. When “Nash pinion[s] [Stephen’s] arms behind while Boland seize[s] a long cabbage stump which was lying in the gutter”(80), and begins to strike Stephen until he has his “back against a barbed wire fence”(80), Nash, Boland, and Heron, attempt to force their opinions and views unto Stephen. They go to such far measures as to include violence in arguing their opinions. The three boys furiously attack Stephen, who however, holding strong to his opinion, risks further injury from his oppressors than to change or even consider lying about his view. It is only “after a fury of plunges”(81), do the boys let Stephen go. A typical conversation about literature and English becomes a violent, atrocious attack, once a personal opinion, such as who is the greatest poet, perhaps even politics, is involved.

Joyce perhaps indicates the fact that topics regarding politics or subjects of that nature should not be openly discussed. He offers an explanation to the reason why people in general are not open when discussing their opinions, and consider it an offense when they are questioned about what they think. Joyce proves that when sensitive matters are openly discussed, a different side of people is shown. People hold their opinions highly and will fight furiously to continue believing in them.

Kristin D. 5 said...

Grapes and Wine in The Portrait of the Artist as Young Man

In The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce uses grapes and wine as a symbol of the opposing inner feelings that Stephen Dedalus experiences as he matures. Grapes and wine can be directly related to the blood of Christ, which represents Stephen’s religious view towards life, or to the Greek god Dionysus who is known for his dual nature between joy and unthinkable rage.

Readers witness Stephen Dedalus maturing throughout the book and how he opens his eyes and starts seeing the world for what it is. As a young boy Dedalus is completely naïve about the world and about how people are. Dedalus is seen as an innocent young boy who lacks information and experience. In the passage on pg 48-49 the author suggests that Dedalus’s innocence is shattered by the new information that he overhears from a group of kids his age. “You know the altar wine that they keep in the press in the sacristy? … well they drank that and it was found out who did it by the smell… A faint sickness made him weak.” (pg 49) The wine in this passage can symbolize the blood of Christ and his suffering that he has done for mankind. In Catholic religion the wine is very sacred and is symbol of the sacrifice that Jesus’s made for the sin’s of the world. The fact that these young children went into the church and stole this wine and drank it can symbolize how easy it can be for someone to come in and step all over the Catholic religion. The stealing of the wine can be looked at as a mockery of the religion and this sickens Stephen.

He recalls back to his youth in the church, “He remembered the summer evening he had been there to be dressed as a boatberer, the evening of the procession to the little alter in the wood. A strange and holy place.” (pg 49) The alter and the Catholic setting is seen to Stephen as “strange and holy.” Strange usually is a word that would describe something out of the ordinary, something that has not been experienced, bizarre, or even not natural. Something that is holy has to do with spirituality or God. The fact that Stephen sees the alter as something strange and holy shows that Stephen is really inexperienced and unsure about his beliefs. He knows that the alter and church is religious and holy but he has not been educated or been able to experience it or he has not come to terms with his religion and he is questioning it. He refers to the sacristy as “Dark and silent” (pg 49). The sacristy where the wine and sacred items are kept is a dark place. Usually darkness is associated with uncertainty and can symbolize Stephen’s struggle of knowing what is right and wrong as he grows up.

Stephen almost doesn’t want to listen to his fellow schoolmates talk. “The fellows were all silent. Stephen stood among them, afraid to speak, listening… how could they have done that?” (p 49.) Stephen feels guilt for how morally wrong this act is.
Although he took no part of it he feels guilty. The wine that is stolen can also be symbolically relating the to the Greek god Dionysus. Dionysus is the god of wine, agriculture, nature, fertility and art. Dionysus is also know as Baccheus and he is capable of bring joy and ecstasy but can also bring unthinkable rage and anger. The two sides of Dionysus can symbolize the confusion of the two sides that Stephen is caught up in between. This incident marks a growth period in Stephen’s life when he realizes how religion is based in his life and how people are capable of being sinners and having a bad side that opposes the good side whereas before Stephen was not aware of this characteristic of humanity.

Stephen relates himself to Edmond Dantes who is the protagonist in The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. (p 67) James Joyce brings this story into the context of The Portrait of the Artist as a Young man to put Stephen’s character into contrast with another in order for the reader to understand the similarities between the two. Edmond Dante is seen as a heroic character and the Count of Monte Cristo is known for being an adventurous tale of betrayal and revenge. The story has a lot to do with danger and changes which is the same idea for Stephen. Stephen’s view to life changes through the book his innocence leaves him as he goes into his teen years.

Edmond Dante’s fiancé is Mercedes and in his imagination Stephen pictures Mercedes as this sensual magical beautiful being, “and in his imagination he lived through a long train of adventures, marvelous as those in the book itself, towards the close of which there appeared an image of himself, growing older and sadder; standing in a moonlit garden with Mercedes who has so many years before slighted his love, and with a sadly proud gesture of refusal saying: -Madam, I never eat muscatel grapes” (p 67.) Stephen imagines this scene of himself getting old and sad. Stephen feels that as he grows he will miss out on something and regret it therefore being sad in the future. He pictures himself standing in a moonlit garden with this woman named Mercedes and he refuses her offer of grapes. The refusal of the grapes is symbolic of Stephen refusing to give in to his desire for women. Grapes are associated with Dionysus who is also known for youth, healing, joy, and freedom by madness and ecstasy just as how drinking a large amount of wine can relieve thoughts and free the mind.

Mercedes offering these grapes can be looked at as a form of seduction towards Stephen. Mercedes is just symbolic of women in general and she “slighted his love so many years before” which means that she didn’t take his love as something important and in result to that he refused her offer of grapes. This imagined setting shows that Stephen wants to be desired by women and that he feels that women can free him. This desire that burns within him is part of growing up but he feels that it is impure. This situation sets up the struggle that Stephen has with his desire for women and the Catholic religion.

Stephen refuses Mercedes offer of grapes “sadly and proudly.” Again Stephen is sad for picking the more Catholic approach to his problems. He is sad for giving up love and sad for refusing and giving into his desire and fulfilling his wants, but he is also proud . Proud of himself for maintaining his pride and not giving into sexual desires. James Joyce often describes Stephen’s feelings having two sides: sad but happy. It is related to how Dionysus the god of wine is also known for his dueling nature and how at a certain moderation wine can be a good but if it is abused the outcomes may be bad. The two sides of wine reflect with the two reactions that Stephen have to the offering of the grapes.

Symbolism of grapes and wine in The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man are used as a tool to add more meaning to the changes that Stephen goes through as he learns and experiences new things that he can not explain. The wine and the grapes symbolize his desire for freedom of his mind versus the teachings of the Catholic church. The struggle between being pure and impure is a struggle that Stephen Dedalus goes through.

Andrew D 5 said...

Dante in “The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”

In the passage where Stephen is witnessing the argument between his father, Mr. Casey and Dante at the dinner table; the author James Joyce suggests that Stephen is maturing and understanding more about life through the time he spends observing adults, and interpreting their arguments and point of view.

James Joyce creates meaning in this passage through argument. Stephen sits there, silently, as the argument gets worse and worse like the circles of hell. Dante is a very religious woman with a passionate understanding and appreciation of her religion. She argues with Mr. Casey about priests preaching their political opinions on the altar. Mr.Casey views priests as men that read from a book at mass whereas Dante views priests as teachers. Dante is very passionate about religion while Mr.Casey is passionate about politics, two subject matters that can most defiantly ruin a Christmas dinner. Dante argues that “they are doing their duty in warning the people” (41), and Mr. Casey counters with the statement that “we go to the house of God, Mr. Casey said, in all humility to pray to our Maker and not to hear election addresses” (41). Dante reinforces her point that priests “are right. They must direct their flocks” (41). So you can see Dante’s religious passion and respect for the position of priests, perhaps she is too passionate and Mr. Casey is too argumentative but Joyce keeps the argument rolling so we see Stephen getting the full affect of a serious argument. Mr. Dedalus then lays her knife down and stops the argument referring to the time of year not being appropriate for the subject matter especially at the dinner table. But Mr.Casey keeps it up “Let them leave politics alone, or the people may leave their church alone” (41). Very disrespectful and Dante turns to Mrs. Dedalus looking for her to see Dante’s reason for arguing. Dante goes on to quote the Holy Ghost is a passage on page 42 that has God stating that one who misleads and scandalizes should be punished accordingly to their sin much like the different sinners endure corresponding punishments in the different circles of hell which get deeper and worse the closer you get to Satan according to The Inferno.

Joyce has this argument take place at the dinner table, around Christmas, in front of Stephen so that he can mature in his understanding. Stephen cannot participate because he is young, he is not mature, like when Virgil had to fight for Dante to be able to cross the river Styx because Dante was still alive. Joyce lets us see Stephen grow through listening, like Dante learns about life and hell through observing first hand. Stephen will grow, he has to learn before he can teach, follow before he can lead, Dante goes through hell to understand and appreciate life. The meaning of the passage is achieved through argumentation and its purpose is achieved through the communication of the point of views expressed in the argument.

This passage fits in to a later scenario in chapter two where Joyce goes off on one of his growing up, coming of age tangents that help prove the point. In the passage on page 67 where Stephen with his father and his granduncle walk on Sundays, James Joyce suggests that Stephen is making the necessary steps to grow up and understand the world around him. The three of them would walk, for miles and miles “and often ten or twelve miles of the road were covered” (67). So we can only imagine all the time Stephen spend listening to the conversations about “subjects nearest their hearts, of Irish politics, of Munster and of the legends of their own family” (67). And thus the meaning is created through observation of theses subjects. Joyce isn’t very specific about the politics covered, the subjects nearest their hearts nor which legends of their own family because that would have probably taken up 400 pages. None the less the meaning is comprehended.

Joyce’s purpose is to exemplify Stephen’s progress as he “lends an avid ear” (67) to all of the subject matter covered while on these Sunday “constitutionals” (67). Stephen is achieving some understanding as he takes “words which he did not understand he said over and over to himself till he had learned them by heart” (67) Stephen is being schooled in life while observing adults and interacting with them. Joyce does a wonderful job making the reader appreciate Stephen’s efforts. By just being present and listening to these older gentlemen speak Stephen grows, he doesn’t have speak up and put in two cents here and there for the adults to respect him because that’s not what is being achieved. Stephen is growing through the words “and through them he had glimpses of the real world about him” (67). His time spent is paying off slowly but surely. And “in secret he began to make ready for the great part which he felt awaited him the nature of which he only dimly apprehended” (67). It is still early, only chapter two and midway through chapter three and Joyce is painting the portrait of Stephen as a young man maturing, he is dimly apprehending what awaits him later in life.




~Andrew D

Doris T5 said...

Darkness in the Portrait of
the Artist as a Young Man


In the passages where the author is discussing Stephen’s thoughts of indifference towards the other children and when Stephen is homesick and decides to tune out the other children, Joyce uses diction to emphasize darkness as a bildingsRoman. Joyce’s choice of words provides a sense of change for Stephen. Throughout the whole novel Stephen experiences things that allow him to look deeper within himself and change. When the time comes to change and grow up so to speak, he is pulled back in the other direction, towards who he was before. He starts to mature and then fades back to his innocence. Almost like he is too afraid to do so. In the passages Joyce uses darkness to display how it can lead to progression and the development of the mind as well as the loss of innocence. In one passage Joyce shows how Stephen keeps returning to his innocence and in the other passage Stephen becomes more mature and moves forward from his childhood.
Darkness can be described as night and sadness. It can also metaphorically mean death. In the passage where Stephen is thinking about his friends and the difference between them Joyce mentions darkness both as a metaphor and the actual meaning of the word. Joyce writes “The coming of September did not trouble him this year for he knew that he was not to be sent back to Clongowes"
(68) to show Stephen’s loss of innocence. In the line “coming of September” Joyce uses September to symbolize darkness. September is the time of year where the sky turns to dark and it is associated with death. In Stephen’s case it is not an actual death of somebody but the actual loss of innocence.
In this passage Clongowes is used to symbolize Stephen’s dark times during his childhood. Clongowes was the boarding school that Stephen attended as a young child. There he experienced lot events that later on had some affect on his ability to grow and become more of an adult. Clongowes is in a sense his innocence. The place where he was a child was at Clongowes. The place remains his childhood and the fact that because September is coming means a death to his innocence. Joyce writes, “For he knew that he was not to be sent back” to emphasize how important Clongowes was not only as a school but also as a place where Stephen was allowed to come of age. The tone of the passage is very stern and almost very affirmative. Positive in a way that Stephen knows he isn’t returning to that place that once held his innocence.

A change occurs in Stephen as he thinks about all that has happened. Stephen knows that he is different from all the other boys including his friend Aubrey. Stephen’s stream of consciousness is different from others because his thoughts are progressed logically. The development of Stephen’s mind is more advanced and in this passage he starts to understand that change has to occur. As September is coming and innocence is lost, Stephen has the ambition to change and come of age. Joyce writes “for some time he had felt slight changes in his house; and these changes in what he had deemed unchangeable were so many slight shocks to his boyish conception of the world”(68) to show that Stephen’s thinking about the changes. The coming of September or the coming darkness has allowed Stephen to see the changes that are occurring. These changes would not been seen had he been a young or before September. Stephen always thought that things would never change but when “September” came he was shocked and it shocked his “boyish conception of the world”. Joyce chooses to incorporate the word “boyish” in the passage to emphasize his change and the development of his mind. Stephen now thinks with a new conception of the world, one that is not childish and foolish but more a more mature outlook. So in retrospect coming of September or the coming of darkness allows Stephen to become fully developed and aware of his surroundings.

As the passage continues, Joyce writes about Stephen’s gaining the ability to feel ambitious. Stephen say’s “the ambition which he felt astir at times in the darkness of his soul sought not outlet. A dusk like that of the outer world obscured his mind…”(68-69). Stephen felt that before the “change” he never had ambition. His soul was dark and empty even though ambition and aspirations lied beneath. He could never let these feelings out because Stephen knew that a change would have to occur. Dusk in this passage is used as a metaphor for his soul and how it lacks ambition. Dusk is essentially nightfall and the ending of the day. The day was full of light and hope and now that it’s dark he feels empty. Ambition is something that Stephen cannot see happening to him. The thought of it ever happening to him was obscure and incomprehensible. Joyce uses darkness as an excuse for Stephen to show why he lacks ambition. His mind cannot comprehend ambition and that’s why it is dark. Stephen’s train of thinking is different from others and this makes him unique. The coming of “September” allowed Stephen to shed his innocence and become a new person. He realizes that his innocence was holding him back and here is where he sheds it.

In the other passage Stephen is forced to tune out the other boys in the refectory and become more focused. He keeps on closing and opening his ears while thinking about being home. Joyce writes, “He heard the noise of the refectory he opened the flaps of his ears. It made a roar like a train at night. And when he closed the flaps the roar was shut off like a train going into a tunnel”(26). This passage is significant to Stephens’s development and his loss of innocence. At this point in the novel Stephen is very innocent and displays it very much in this section of the novel. When he imagines being home, Stephen still has intact his innocence because he can’t stand being alone. He imagines the sound of the opening and closing of his ears is like a train going through a tunnel. The tunnel in this case is Stephen’s mind. Stephen is very different from the other boy’s and in a way he knows this. A tunnel is dark and hollow. The darkness symbolizes the death and destruction of his innocence. The motion that Stephen makes with his hands signifies the moving forward and backwards of his innocence. Stephen’s closing and opening of his ears is very relevant to how he deals with his innocence whether it is lost or still intact. The roar that the train makes is his thoughts. Stephens’s thoughts are very articulate and mature for his age but come and go like the roaring train through the tunnel.

In conclusion Joyce uses darkness or the symbol of it to show how Stephen’s development occurs. Stephen loses his innocence that September. A change occurs in his mind that alters his consciousness. Stephen starts to become more mature as his mind develops. The passage displays a BildingsRoman is occurring. Joyce’s diction expresses this development. The “coming of September” which is the most essential part of the passage signifies a change and loss of innocence. The mention of the school where Stephen attended as a young a child shows the loss of innocence as well. Part of mature involves having ambitions and Joyce writes that the thought of ambition to Stephen was obscure to him. It was almost unfamiliar and incomprehensible. Although Stephen sees things change as a shocking thing, it necessarily isn’t. In the other passage Stephen is withheld back towards his innocence. He imagines that the motion he makes with his hands and ears like a roaring train going through a tunnel. While the train represents his thoughts and the dark and hollow tunnel represents his mind, Joyce connects them together. The train’s movement of in and out of tunnels signifies Stephen’s backwards and forward innocence. At one time he seems to be losing his innocence while the instance he returns back to it. Based on these passages Joyce deliberately proves that Stephen juggles his innocence throughout the novel using darkness as one of the many symbols. The darkness is his consciousness and what happens to it as he experiences these events that test his mind.

Shaun N 5 said...

Shaun Nigro
12/10/07
Period 5

Memory in James Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”


In James Joyce’s semi-autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, protagonist Stephen Dedalus is stultified by an unraveling array of truths that carve out the innocence that appears especially in the luminescent memories of his once secure childhood. Upon witnessing the death of a father figure on account of discovering the man his father really is, Stephen attempts to escape into the very memories that support his childhood mentality. This diversion fails and further prompts him, much to his dismay, into his present state of mind, which is that of a young man.
In the first passage (second, chronologically), Joyce depicts Stephen in an embarrassed state and talks of the night prior to the morning at present. The experience of standing by while watching his father drink the night away, reminiscing scenes of youth and joyous times, plays a seemingly significant role in churning out the death of Stephen’s perception of the world around him; a continuation in a loss of innocence. “…the false smiles of the market sellers, the curvettings and oglings of the barmaids with whom his father flirted, the compliments and encouraging words of his father’s friends.”(pg. 93, paragraph 2) The list continues by presenting evidence of the nonsense that circulated in this night of disillusion for Stephen. It is obvious that in this passage the image of Stephen’s father is tarnished almost completely, and along with his father, childhood memories begin to slip into a world that can no longer be touched. He begins to feel sorry for himself and becomes depressed at his own comparison to his father’s childhood, accepting an apparent discovery that he is unique and lacking of any happy memories. “No life or youth stirred in him as it had stirred in them. He had known neither the pleasure of companionship with others nor the vigour of rude male health nor filial piety. Nothing stirred within his soul but a cold and cruel and loveless lust.”(pg. 94, paragraph 14) The passage dwells further in Stephen’s helplessness stating, “His childhood was dead or lost and with it his soul capable of simple joys: and he was drifting amid life like the barren shell of the moon.”(pg. 94, paragraph 4)
The second passage, which actually serves as the open to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, depicts a baby Stephen Dedalus, oblivious to any sadness or destruction in a world he has only recently become a part of. His father is mentioned once and with no flaws save a smell less nice than that of his mother. “His father told him that story: his father looked at him through a glass: he had a hairy face.”(pg. 20, paragraph 2) The passage in its entirety is a jumble of random pieces of early childhood that appear through the eyes of a toddler, and that in fact serve as the most vague images that one would remember. Things are without meaning and despair is hidden into the future, along with the cruel workings of the world around him. “His mother had a nicer smell than his father. She played on the piano the sailor’s hornpipe for him to dance. He danced: Tralala lala…”(pg. 21, paragraph 1) This is a time where Stephen feels secure and where he is happiest.
The two passages are very different but are intertwined with a definite connection, which is to compare the childhood memories of the second passage (technically the first) with the first passage where Stephen is with his father at that bars. The truth of the second passage is that Stephen had a childhood, regardless of how he chooses to perceive it, and he was happy. The first passage illustrates on the contrary that “He had known neither the pleasure of companionship with others nor the vigour of rude male health nor filial piety.”(pg. 94, paragraph 14) Stephen is attempting to resolve the inevitable realities of growing up by drawing out his sad state and by convincing himself that, because his childhood was not the way he thought it should have been, he was deprived of the normal rituals of a young boy. In this way, it appears that memories are selective and that James Joyce would rather dwell on the memory of “Stephen” seeing his father in an unwanted light than cope in a normal manner with what appears to be a normal childhood.

Kevin Ta 5 said...

James Joyce crafts a novel full of symbols and references in his A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in order to explore the life and tribulations of the protagonist, Stephen Dedalus. In certain passages, Joyce associates the subtle manifestation of circles or orbs with a person’s decline. The first two chapters of the book demonstrate this aspect with the characters of Simon Moonan and Mike Flynn.

In Chapter 1, Stephen attends Clongowes, a private boarding school for boys. He is a relatively naïve, innocent, young teenager, unexposed to the harsh realities of life away from home. Thus, Stephen initially has trouble fitting in; the other boys tend to bully him around and he prefers to stay out of their game of football. One of these boys, Simon Moonan, is regarded as “McGlade’s suck”(24), a teacher’s pet. Stephen witnesses Simon suggest that the boys not “give [the ball] one last [kick]…because the prefect was looking”(24) to which a peer labels him a sycophant. The controversies in this case are the football, described as a “greasy leather orb”(21), and the temptation of giving it one more go. Despite Simon’s reputation, he clearly does not want the higher ups to reprimand him and the other boys, since the loud voices of the prefects call for them to return immediately. His slight display of good ethics refutes his otherwise negative standing with the boys.

Later in the chapter, the boys congregate to discuss a recent crime committed by some students on school grounds. Although they at first believed it to be a theft of wine from the school’s sacristy, a friendly acquaintance of Stephen named Athy gives a different account. He tells the boys that the fellows who “scut”, or fled, had engaged in minor homosexual activities with Simon Moonan and Tusker Boyle. The boys are shocked, because even the thought of homosexuality was sinful in such a highly religious school and especially during the time period. Stephen begins wondering about the “smugging” in disbelief, thinking it must be a joke. He recalls Simon Moonan having “nice clothes”(51) and on “one night he had shown him a ball of creamy sweets that the fellows of the football fifteen had rolled down to him along the carpet in the middle of the refectory when he was at the door”(51). Even though Stephen finds Simon as a decent peer, the sudden revelation of his wrongdoing exhibits the defacing of his character. The ball of creamy sweets he had shown Stephen symbolizes an orb of forbidden temptations, hinting at the offence he would carry out. Ironically, Simon is last seen “walking by himself kicking a stone before him”(50), unlike the time before in which he advises that he and the boys return inside instead of kicking the football anymore. Simon receives a flogging for punishment, but both his physical body and character suffer from the crime.

Chapter 2 sees gradual changes in Stephen’s mindset and life. He spends the summer in his family’s new house in Blackrock. During this time, he frequently goes out with his great uncle Charles on errands. One day, a meeting with Mike Flynn, a friend of Stephen’s father, is scheduled. According to Stephen’s father, Mike “had put some of the best runners of modern times through his hands”(66). He begins “Stephen’s run round the park”(66). The trainer then makes a few comments and even demonstrates by shuffling along. His vain efforts attract “a small ring of wonderstruck children and nursemaids…[who] gather to watch him and linger even when he and uncle Charles had sat down again and were talking athletics and politics”(66). Mike may have had an illustrious career in the past, but his proficiency has obviously declined in the years that followed. Stephen’s “run round the track in the style [he] favour[s]”(66) is fruitlessly executed, to the extent that he may as well be running in circles rather than training for real. It seems Mike’s training regimen is no longer up to par. In addition, his own laughable scuttle draws the attention of surprised onlookers who even stick around to hear his conversations with Uncle Charles. The spectators form a ring around Mike, signifying his lost aptitude. Stephen also doubts his trainer’s authenticity, “often glanc[ing at his face] with mistrust…and with pity”(66). Although Mike continues to train people and runs himself, he has fallen a great deal in terms of his athletic and teaching abilities.

In conclusion, Joyce employs depictions of circles and orbs to emphasize a character’s decline. Whether it is a moral desecration or a regression of talent, the integrity of the person suffers. The unique imagery of roundness, in contrast with more traditional figures, helps the reader identify a character’s degeneration.

Mr. G said...

Looks like some interesting papers--looking forward to reading. It's the morning after the papers were due and I'm just typing myself a note. Peace.

Mario R. 5 said...

In the book a portrait of the artist as a young man James Joyce writes with great detail so that when we read the book it feels like we are there experience what is happening to this young artist as he matures. The topic that I have been researching throughout the book is colors how they are use throughout the book and how they affect James Joyce writing. James Joyce use colors to have smooth transaction from what is really going on to what is going on in his memoirs the colors helps us feel and see what Stephan sees and feels. I believe colors play a major part in this book even in the title of the book a portrait of the artist as a young man. Which is described a portrait is a panting and artist who is the painter. In the main sense of things colors can be represented in many ways they can be use to express feeling or as an enliven language.

The first passage that I choice to talk about was on page 27 when Stephen is remember when he was in school and he was counting the days until Christmas and he finds a map of the world in his geography book. “There was a picture of the earth on the first page of his geography: a big ball in the middle of clouds. Fleming had a box of crayons and one night during free study he had coloured the earth green and the clouds maroon. That was like the two brushes in Dante’s press, the brush with green velvet back for Parnell and the brush with the maroon velvet back for Michael davit. But he had not told Fleming to colour them those colours Fleming had done it himself. The crayon box in this passage is used a worldly feeling of togetherness. The color green in this passage represents Dante the color green it self is symbolic to health, peace, and serenity. The color maroon is written in this passage to represent Parnell, the color maroon is symbolic to courage, bravery, and strength. This passage is very interesting if you know what colors represent I believe that James Joyce did know and use these colors as to give a sought of intense to this passage.

The second passage that I choice to talk about was the passage on page 45 when Eileen and Stephan are playing tig see put her hands over his eyes so that he can count and then go and search for her and the other children. “Eileen had long white hands. One evening well playing tig she had put her hands over her eyes: long and white and thin and cold and soft. That was ivory: a cold white thing. That was the meaning of tower of Ivory.” I like to first start with the color white which stands for purity so basically he is saying that she has hands of purity and how great it was to be in contact with this purity. This is also his first time that he starts to loss his own purity. The word ivory is giving a strong meaning behind the word white.
These to passage are related to show the maturating of Stephan in the first it shows him mature in a mental where he is relating the world to people and how what they have done change the world. The second passage is a maturing of Stephan physically where he is longing for this feeling of touch for another human being these are the most important that I believe that James Joyce wanted us to get out of the book is the maturing or growth of Stephen as turns from a young artist to an adult.

In conclusion I believe that James Joyce use colors to give life to the characters. He does thought using colors as expression of emotional more in a sense of matured. I believe that James Joyce is trying to build a picture in the readers head with every line that is used I believe that even though colors are use very little when they are used they are use to give life to this portrait that he is building in the book a portrait of a artist as a young boy.

kev.tr.5.. said...

Blindness

In “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”, James Joyce uses imagery and
symbolization to show how blindness exists in the dark crevices of the human mind, and are often revealed through growth and development. As humans grow, they tend to start out living with a naïve innocent child like mind thinking that everything that they see and hear is truthful and perfect, but growth comes with experience of the imperfections of the world. Sometimes knowing or hearing the truth is wanted, so a person may shield himself by covering his ears or covering his eyes. Blindness is the ability to not see or to lack perception.

Blindness is often associated with the inability to finds one way, to be lost. “There was a cold night smell in the chapel.” (pg30) Night relates to the dark, and in the dark one cannot see. This sentence, and paragraph, starts out with “There was a cold night”. The word “night” already gives the sentence the sense of being lost or being in the dark. Though the sentence starts with “night”, a word associating with blindness, the sentence ends with “the chapel”. Chapels link to religion, God, light, and guidance, quite the contrast with darkness and blindness. Religion teaches and guides people to a way of living. Religion relates to light because light also has a guiding quality. Light can physically light up a darkened path to guide the way. Also, light can symbolize enlightenment, just as darkness symbolizes the abstract idea of one being lost or confused. Dark and light both have direct relations with blindness as the former is a quality of blindness and the latter a cure of blindness. Though religion gives people a reason to live onto the afterlife, religion also blinds a person’s mind into thinking that religion explains the mysteries of life and the reasons why things happen.

James Joyce creates an interesting transition and contrast between dark and light such as between “There was a cold night smell in the chapel.”(30) and
“It would be lovely to sleep for one night in the cottage before the fire of smoking turf, in the dark lit by the fire, in the warm dark, breathing the smell of peasants, air and ran and the turf and corduroy. But, O, the road there between the trees was dark! You would be lost in the dark. It made him afraid to think of how it was.”(30)
The lighted night imagery is set by the words “night”, “fire”, and “dark”. Again we have the night imagery symbolizing blindness but after the dark imagery around the cottage is hindered by the light of the fire. The fire represents the lack of blindness, or rather, the fire illuminates everything near it. The fire creates a sense of safety and a sense of where the location is. The passage quickly goes into total darkness though as the narrator describes the blackness in between the trees and how he is afraid of the darkness between the trees. The narrator is afraid of what may lie beyond the trees, he is afraid of the unknown.

The early stage of human is child. Children being only in this world for so long since birth don’t have the experience and knowledge. Children are the epitome of innocence from the lack of guidance yet gained from living; therefore they are blind to the dangers and the evils that exist in the world. Also, to shield themselves from the evils and wrongdoings of this world, children often run to their mothers in hope to be saved and in hope to be preserved as the little innocent children they are shown in, “there were little cottages there and he had seen a woman standing at the halfdoor of a cottage with a child in her arms,” (30) Though mothers shield their children from harm, mothers are also children’s mentors throughout life, teaching them manners, how to be respectful, and how to give respect. Again, this will teach a child, but the act of teaching them a certain way already blinds them into thinking at a certain perspective. The very act of teaching how to behave, how to be respectful, and how to live are all acts of blinding in itself.

The temptations of body influence the decisions a person can make. Sexual temptation influences and blinds a person to have sexual desires outside moral boundaries.
Stephen is blinded and pushes himself into having sex with a prostitute all to pleasure his desires with a female body. “He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her, body and mind, conscious of nothing in the world but the dark pressure of her softly parting lips.”(99) These beautiful words describe the very wants of his male instincts in contrast to his religion and morals. He closes his eyes not only to surrender to the prostitute, but to shield himself from the teachings of his religion. He is both pleased physically and ashamed mentally at his decisions. Stephen’s wants and moral expectations of himself create an internal clash.

“He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her,” (99) can be depicted as a boy using a female to comfort himself. This line creates imagery similar to that of a child retreating to the aid of his mother when he witnesses or experiences a traumatizing event. A mother shields the child from harm while the child hides from the truth. While shielding a child, a mother gives a sense of safety and protection. James Joyce uses this line to create that sense of safety that Stephen feels from his strict religious morals. Stephen blinds himself momentarily from his own ethics in order to fulfill his instinctive desires without burden. Stephen’s blindness leads to his sensation of safety.

“His lips would not bend to kiss her. He wanted to be held firmly in her arms, to be caressed slowly, slowly, slowly. In her arms he felt that he had suddenly become strong and fearless and sure of himself. But his lips would not bend to kiss her.”
Stephen comes to the point where his mentality is about to break into a frenzy from his long awaited animal instincts. His lips do not bend because they are the embodiment of his religious and self morals telling him that this sin of executing such acts with a prostitute is wrong. At this point, Stephen’s mind and body both crave the prostitute. What is left of Stephen’s righteous moral hold his lips back from giving kisses. Instincts to withdraw his lips are from Stephen’s childhood experiences to do good, yet his male animal instincts blind his own vision of what is good morality.

Edmund H5 said...

The Bells in “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”

In “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”, by James Joyce, bells signal a warning that death is approaching and that an event is nearing an end. Stephen Dedalus must make the last prayer for the night but in school he faces taunts by the boys in his school, and he tries to make the last tram to return to his destination, his innocence.

Stephen is spiraling down from his innocence as a child into adulthood. “The bell rang for night prayers and he filed out of the studyhall after the others and down the staircase and along the corridors to the chapel” (29). A child is innocent because of the lack of experience they posses of this mortal world. They have a mindset that looks at the world much differently from that of an adult, children looks at the world full of hope and optimism. As children mature into adulthood they see the world full of impurities and corruption. “The corridors were darkly lit and the chapel was darkly lit. Soon all would be dark and sleeping” (29). The darkness that fills the halls and rooms are the shadows of human corruption and the light that tries to light the space shows how useless it is to return to innocence. “There was cold night air in the chapel and the marbles were the colour the sea was at night. The sea was cold day and night: but it was colder at night. It was cold and ark under the seawall beside his father’s house. But the kettle would be on the hob to make punch” (29). The cold air means that innocence is soon to be dead since there are two symbolic pieces that confirms that death; the cold air and the night.

This passage Stephen Dedalus was questioning right from wrong but failed so he had to suffer the consequences from the school bullies. The punishment he faces is unbearable and so he wishes to be dead and when he is dead he wants Wells, the bully, to suffer for his crime: because “Wells would be sorry then for what he had done. And the bells would toll slowly” (35). This line from “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions,” by John Donne references the chime that is heard to that of a funeral bell from a church and “to whom the bell tolls” for is that of Stephen Dedalus. “He could hear the tolling. He said over to himself the song that Brigid had taught him. Dingdong! The castle bell!/Farewell, my mother!/Bury me in the old churchyard/Beside my eldest brother./ My coffin shall be black,/Six angels at my back,/Two to sing and two to pray/And two to carry my soul away” (35). Brigid is a goddess in Irish mythology; her divine responsibilities include childbirth, healing, and poetry. The song that Brigid teaches Dedalus relates returning back to innocence, as there are “six angels at” his back to “carry his soul away” (35). “How Beautiful and sad that was! How beautiful the words were where they said Burry me in the old churchyard! A tremor passed over his body. How sad and how beautiful! He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music. The bell! The bell! Farewell! O farewell!” (38): words can be sad and beautiful; it dies when it’s written down. The taunting that Stephen received made him wish that he was dead so that he may live in peace and that his tormentors would suffer and succumb to guilt.

“It was the last tram” (72) of the day and Stephen is preparing to get on board. He sees a woman that he is lusting after but is too afraid to make the first move, and just as quickly as he saw her she is gone. The tram is the last ride back to his innocence and he realizes that he, “could hold her and kiss her” (73). “The lank brown horses knew it and shook their bells to the clear night in admonition. The conductor talked with the driver, both nodding often in the green light of the lamp. On the empty seats of the tram were scattered a few coloured tickets” (72). The bells signal the end of Stephan’s innocence as the nameless woman is the temptation to move him away from chastity. His mind is craving to taste the lips of a woman and this craving grows stronger. It’s no coincident that there is a bell being heard during the last tram as the bell signals the last of an event and in this case the last tram ride for the night. Stephan will slip out of his innocence unaware of it happening since the tram is moving under a clear night without any troubles.“No sound of footsteps came up or down the road. No sound broke the peace of the night save when the lank brown horses rubbed their noses together and shook their bells” (72). The silent footsteps are Stephan’s innocence slowly moving away, and the peace of the night is the silent departure of innocence, his growing out of childhood.

The author, James Joyce, uses bells to warn the ending of innocence. The image of bells appears when there are events that are ending such as the case with the last tram, the last prayer, and the glimpse of death.

CasieS P5 said...

Casandra
Period 5

Light

In The Great Gatsby, the author F. Scott Fitzgerald uses light to symbolize hope, there is a green light at the edge of the pier this symbolizes Gatsby’s hope to be with his love and his own American dream. Like the Great Gatsby, in A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man the author James Joyce uses light to symbolize hope a second chance and a new beginning. Ironically World War One occurred around the same time as the book A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man was published and in 1916 people would look to the sunlight as hope during this dark time. The contrast between light and dark symbolizes the dark negative place the world can be and the powerful positive strength that one person can have during a dark time.
In the passage “A tiny light twinkled at the pierhead where the ship was entering” (36 Joyce), the author James Joyce suggests that light symbolizes a new beginning. The author creates an image in the minds of the audience. In the beginning of this paragraph the author Joyce is describing the “dark waves rising and falling, dark under the moonless night.” (36 Joyce) this creates the feeling of an unwelcome sea. However the small light that the ship was chasing creates a small source of hope from exiting the fierce dark ocean. Light symbolizes beginnings, and the start of life. New ideas and creations are symbolized by light. Also, power and strength are other parallels to light. The small source of light represents hope that there will be something better and something that creates a fresh start to look forward to instead of this dark sinful world. Light also symbolizes forgiveness.
In the bible there were three wise men followed the stars in the east to find baby Jesus. The stars were the only source of light for these wise men and they lead them to their hope in baby Jesus. This can be compared to Stephen and may foreshadow Stephen breaking lose of his own darkness or his own doom. Like Stephen, brother Michael chose to embark on the journey of getting to the pierhead from the ocean. Stephen at this point has endured the constant immaturity of the other children his age, and the pressure that his peers have given him.
In the passage “The peace of the gardens and the kindly lights in the windows poured a tender influence into his restless heart.” (66 Joyce), still, the author James Joyce suggests that light symbolizes a new beginning and positive energy. Stephen has been touched by his childhood. The symbolism that a window represents is an opportunity of hope. The lights are being personified as kind.

Mr. G said...

Hi all. I apologize in advance for my hasty typing: I’m sure I made many errors in spelling and grammar. Please forgive me. But I’m averaging a page of comments per person this way: I just wrote a twelve page paper on twelve papers. The only grades you will be able to see are the As.

Mr. G said...

Ricki L5--

You start your paper off with “in the two passages…”, but what two passages? How is your reader supposed to know? You are also missing a title. I’m not really sure what your topic is—is it a struggle with faith?—and if that is so—what is your thesis? It is not really clear as to topic or thesis.

Again, start paragraph off with…”In the passage in Father A….” instead. Use context to be specific with your language. Are you sure you can prove that the prefect thinks this? If so—back it up with text. I’m not sure I totally agree. You mostly summarize this scene, but do not analyze…(this may be a result of your lack of thesis.) Starting first, why does joyce “create the tense and uneasy feeling between Stephen and the priest.”

Again, you summarize (and you do it well) the next scene—you also deal nicely with the tone and imagery, but I’m still not sure why—what is the main point of the paper—you basically lack analysis. Your conclusion highlights this and also draws attention to the fact that you don’t deal as specifically as you should with his struggle with the church. Now that I know this is your topic (tho it took until the end)—I see that you have picked good passages, but need to develop the idea and the go apply them to your analysis.

Stephanie P.5--

Though your opening is fine—I think it would be more effective if you applied this theory specifically to S. rather than all humans. Also, pick love or lust or use both, but loose the slash in formal writing. It should read “impure thoughts like lust”, not “the lust”. I have a sense that you are focusing on S.’s struggle with lust, but what exactly is your topic and thesis—it is not clear. Also, missing title to paper, which would help.

You start the body paragraphs off without a topic or without context. You have everything you need in the paragraph, you just need to reorganize it—Topic, context, evidence, analysis. Great job on “innocent tone”. Your paper should have much more of this. I’m seeing now that your paper is about roses (I think), but rather than listing all the possible symbols the roses could stand for, you should be explicating (refer to handout) the passage from beginning to end. You have some fine points within here tho—it’s just structurally not very sound.

The beginning on your next paragraph is done much better, tho you are going to have to cite information about Byron. When you quote the second passage, why do you include the whole length of it. Do you need every part or can you integrate parts of into your writing. Though the start of this section was much stronger, you don’t really analyze anything here.


Ronald d 5-

Overall your topic is solid, though not very sophisticated or subtle. If you integrated the first and second paragraphs together, your intro would be much more effective.

3rd paragraph. Are you sure you can back up a statement like “politics was on the mind of everyone” and what tine period are you talking about and provide me with specific context in the book before you land me at some metaphysical “dinner table” and then a quotation with no context. Your main point here tho is just that dialog is present to show that politics is important. You need something deeper than this.

What do you mean by S.’s “father starts to die internally”? and the rest of the sentence becomes confusing because it is a run-on… Again, the main point of this paragraph is just that politics are important—you are not explicating the passages (see handout).

Mr. G said...

Portrait Paper comments Period 5 continued

Chris o5--

The idea for your thesis is solid, but since this is such a short paper, differentiate who the characters are specifically. The last sentence is not a sentence. You could also elaborate a bit contextually, since this all becomes too vague.

The first two sentences are not sentences either. It is a run on with a period in btw and it is also in past tense and I think your writing would improve dramatically if you could focus on using active voice. Though you do a good job structurally for setting up your evidence with context, your writing style makes what you are saying far too vague. Avoid clichés like “the stage is being set” for the same reasons. Why are you including such a long passage for your evidence? This paragraph is way too long for its purpose. All you basically did was get to specific context by the end of the paragraph, but what are you trying to prove—if it is that S. struggles with religion, then this is obvious through context. You should be showing how Joyce creates this struggle, not proving that it is there.

Same comments for next paragraph about length of evidence given (instead of integrating) and what you are proving. You should circle every linking verb, past tense verb, and “hit list word” in the paper and work on turning into active writing.

Rodney b5—


First sentence: instead of “how people are influence” say how. Second sentence: Always avoid “plays a major role”—it is on the hit list because it is vague writing. This sentence is also too vague and doesn’t mean anything: “This shows the result both factors have in the world.” Finally, your thesis is fine on topic, but missing the most important part, which is HOW Joyce creates this split through writing. The second paragraph gets closer at it, but you should be showing how the relationships Joyce creates affect it.

Keep paper in present tense. You could have more specific context and topic to begin the third paragraph. Good job of integrating context and evidence, but what does “becomes very argue mental” mean? Once is too many times to use very in a paper (use more specific vocabulary): count how many times you do in this paragraph. Still missing HOW Joyce creates meaning—through dialog, relationships etc?

Work also on active voice. Your ideas are too vague—what do pronouns specifically refer to…You never really get at the specific on a thesis—you just prove that Parnell exists.



Wendy c5—

Your intro and thesis are great, but there are far too many errors in the writing—it obfuscates the meaning of your thesis. Besides the writing, the second to last sentence could be replace with the specific situations that you will be writing about in your paper (since this paper is so short).

You could include a bit more specific context to begin this passage. What you covered in this passage was wonderful, but there is so much more there that could be expanded on in the passage—in order to do a really good explication, you need to cover more of the paragraph to show how Joyce creates his meanings. This could actually replace the transition paragraph that you have, since none of this is explication—it is just a surface level comparison, and tho noted, not really what the assignment is.

Nice job picking evidence to develop thesis—the second passage is a nice variety. Again, could use more specific context. Again, if you focused more on the explication and less on Sophocles, it would’ve been better, but some good points and comparisons with evidence.

Mark d 5—

Two typos in first sentence, but well done on topic. Overall well done in intro, but could’ve synthesized info better and made more sophisticated and subtle.

Stick to active voice—it would make your writing about context far more fluid—and easier to avoid run-ons. It should be kill his, not kill their. Watch pronoun antecedent agreement. Leave the doors out of it—it is not relevant to your argument. This paragraph takes you away from explicating—your paper is topical here, but not an analysis of how he creates meaning—which was the assignment. The next paragraph is better and closer to explication. You integrate context and analysis and evidence well here.

Loss, not lose. A bit more specific transition and context could’ve been used going into this passage section. The start of this paragraph is great, but you didn’t really finish the “explication process”. Overall well done on evidence and topic, but you could spend more time turning this into explication of passages.


Kenneth m5—

You have an interesting take on the topic and are almost there, but presented the way that you do, your thesis is much too vague.. Also, take the first person out and work on being much more specific with context as well. When the first body paragraph starts, you mention that there is a heated discussion, but do not give a clue as to when. Your paper however, gets much better as I read on. You do a deft job of weaving in context and quotations to set up theme…(though you must work on formalizing papers and making writing typo free and formal.) Where your paper gets even better is when you include the item about Mr. D putting down his knife and fork—tho you do not need (and it’s probably not appropriate) to bring up Confucius. You could avoid phrases like :there is an interesting…because it lessens the value of your ideas—makes them seem more like journal writing than essay. How many times did you use the word get in the essay?

Again, on idea—the yin / yang is interesting, but doesn’t really fit for explaining Joyce—it would be appropriate if you were explicating a Chinese writer or your topic was the influence of Chinese thought in the novel, but it isn’t. If you used the appropriate language, the idea would fit much nicer.

I have many similar observations about your writing (informalities throughout the rest of the paper—it actually affects the overall points you are trying to make (which are quite good.) What does “The height of the font” mean? Was this a typo--? If so, what did you mean? (You see what I mean about language affecting meaning? This could easily be an A paper is you fix your writing.


Derek d 5—

Overall well done on thesis intro, though you could’ve included much more specific context instead of your second sentence (which is vague on context)—this is a short paper, so you must be as specific as possible. Also compare you first and third sentences—why is the first one so much better? You use active voice in first sentence and do not in the third.

Great set-up for topic, but never write page numbers in your prose—replace with context. The page numbers go after the quotations (you should know this by now!)—also, please don’t include long passages when you then end up re-quoting from them later on in the paragraph. Integrate evidence instead. (You should know this by now as well!) This is the biggest problem with your paragraph—your evidence becomes totally distant from your argument, and is not presented in as an effective way.

I have the same exact comment on the next passage—you are still writing as if you are presenting a topical paper, rather than an integrated argument. You are not supposed to be pulling one or two long quotations out because they fit your topic, but presenting a detailed explication and analysis of how Joyce creates meaning over a passage.



Janelle c 5—

Good topic, but you need to take out the phrases “one of the many symbols” and “in many different ways”—there is a reason they have been on the hit list all year (because they are phrases that don’t mean anything and they trick us into thinking that we have said something). Cut these phrases and replace with HOW Joyce uses the symbol to show HOW it affects S.’s “love relationships’ (awk phrase) and his interest in the arts. As you present, it is a nice topic, but far too vague.

Effect= noun. Affect = verb. Typo in first sentence (one, on). The topic of this paragraph is wonderful, but you need to integrate context to develop explication. You are writing a strictly topical paper that is not addressing HOW Joyce creates meaning. This is the problem with the next paragraph. Your theory about the book is a common one and easy to find, but this is not the style of paper that I asked you to write—you should be explicating.

What does “Writing and language are S.’s brain children” mean? This paragraph ends with a quotation—no explanation of purpose? You have a wonderful topic for the paper, but simply don’t write the type of paper that was asked.

Angela s5—

Good job on intro, though you could work on integrating the ideas in a more subtle, sophisticated manner. Otherwise, well done.

Replace the first two pages with “Before the narrative even begins, Joyce includes the epigraph, “…”—good job on its significance however. Always use author’s last name—James would imply Henry James, a much different writer. You could also benefit from some paragraph breaks—where are the transitions? Break them there. Your explication of the passage is quite good, but would be much better if you broke into paragraphs—it would also force you to elaborate on a couple ideas you present here—almost like a pause in the process.

Instead of “the second passage” Replace with transition and use context specifically to do this. Also keep in present tense and try to use active voice—it flows better. I have the same comment about paragraph breaks here in the transition as well—again, it would force you to develop these ideas more rather than give a rapid fire explication. Overall well done.


William c5—

I like the idea of first sentence. If you could fix the phrasing “and how violent” to a more active phrase—the sentence would work much better. Also, get rid of slashes and the same for the next sentence: replace “how” with actually how. You are also not specific enough about how Joyce creates this tension. You address it with the tense and frightening argument—but a little more needed here.

Same thing with opening sentence in next paragraph with your use of the word “how”—otherwise, good. Good job using context to develop scene. I think, however, that there is a lot more you could do with the passage—it seems as if you have a wonderful start to your explication, but it is left unfinished.

Again, great transition and good use of context to develop a topic for the paragraph, but you simply did not write enough (length) to develop these ideas appropriately. Other than that, I don’t have many comments.


Kristin d5—

It’s “A Portrait” not “The Portrait”. The topic of your essay is very well stated, but you are missing How and Where Joyce develops this symbol in the novel. This is really important to add to your introduction.

First sentence doesn’t work for two reasons: focus on Joyce instead of readers and you leave us with an impossible task: “what the world is”—which is what? How are people (in the next sentence)? Replace page numbers with specific context which would help integrate your otherwise abrupt transition into evidence. Good idea for the significance of this passage however. And you also develop and explicate your ideas about how Joyce creates meaning in the passage as your writing progresses—good job. It should be easy then, to fix the beginning of your paper.

Make transition to next paragraph more fluid. I think you do a fine job with this next passage on topic, but it is not as well integrated as the previous paragraphs. Overall nice job.


Andrew d5—

You have a thesis for the first passage but not for the whole paper. The thesis for the first passage is also a bit simplistic—isn’t it too easy (obvious) to just show that a character matures? I can tell you went through the process of explication, but you need to turn those notes into something more fluid—you can just answer the questions and expect it to work as an essay. Take first and second person out of essay. Your argument falls apart at the end of the paragraph—your ideas are fine (common) but your writing style is not really formal essay writing. It is more like journal writing.

The connection to Virgil is interesting but not backed up by any text. It might be more effective if Dante was used more generally in the text.

Need more specific context (again you include page numbers instead of context in your prose.) You do a better job integrating evidence in the last paragraph but your whole essay suffered from a lack of thesis.

Mr. G said...

Portrait Paper comments continued again

Doris t 5—

You pretty much have everything you need in the introductory parag. Except you have a very repetitive style of beginning the sentences and the paragraph does not feel connected, but rather like points. Otherwise fine.

What do you mean by “Darkness can be described as light and sadness”? Is there a better way to phrase this? You could also be more specific with the context here. The middle of this parag is very well done but the end falls flat and seems disconnect4ed from the flow of your argument. You should do more of the middle of the parag type of argument.

First sentence far too vague of next parag. Explication reads nicely.

Transition a bit abrupt. Why didn’t you cover this part earlier on in your essay since it happens first? This explication is much less in-depth than your first. Overall nice job


Shaun N 5--

Overall solid on ideas in intro—some awkward use of vocabulary (tho nice effort)—also: what is the present in his “present state of mind”—find better phrase for what you mean that is contextually specific.

The first sentence should be much more specific contextually: “In the passage when….”. Also avoid “plays a significant role” (always). However, the explications is solid—you only needed to “finish” the idea. What you have is a wonderful beginning but there is so much more left in the passage to explicate.

Transition needs to be more contextual and you should probably justify more specifically why you covered the later passage first in this essay. Again—there is so much more depth here that you want to continue to explicate in the whole passage, tho topically you are on point.


Kevin ta5—

Great opening but need to be far more specific in the intro—The last two sentences could be both more specific as well as elaborated on. It is too topical presented as such.

You also seem to have three passages that you cover (not two). In any case, the passage on page 21 is dealt with nicely as an introduction to S. but would not be sufficient for an explication of the passage. I have a similar comment for the next passage—tho you deal with a very specific moment in the book quite well—it is not fully developed.

I think what you paper is missing is more volume—you seem to be on topic, but have not developed the ideas within the passages with enough depth.

ashley S5 said...

Ashley
December 9, 2007
English Honors

Explication Of Portrait


In the novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce illustrates the character, Stephen, as a young boy that is transforming in to adulthood. He demonstrates the stages that Stephen goes through by symbolizing and through imagery and reflects Stephen’s growth through his structured, description sentences that share the concepts of Stephen thoughts and values on life. Joyce’s purpose of the passages is to conceive the reader’s attention on how the character is changing and why he chooses to change his ways. In the beginning of the book Stephen portrays himself as being immature and still a child who is having difficultly in developing his own personality but as time goes on he matures and develops a mature, adult personality and wishes that he wasn’t so young minded. From theses two massages, James Joyce demonstrates the phases of growth between Stephen’s yearly childhood and now entering puberty and adulthood.
In the beginning of the first stages of Stephen’s growth, He is portrayed to being immature and childish when showing passionate emotions towards his mother. His classmates make fun of Stephen when he confesses to them that he does kiss his mother. He then tells them that he does not kiss his mother. However either direction of answers, he is denied of acceptance and is considered a laugh. This is demonstrated in the following passage…..
“-Tell us, Dedalus, do you kiss your mother every night before you go to bed?
Stephen answered:
-I do.
Wells turned to the other fellows and said:
- O, I say, here’s a fellow says he kisses his mother every night before he goes to bed.
The other fellow says he kisses his, mother every night before he goes to bed.
The other fellows stopped their game and turned round, laughing.
Stephen blushed under their eyes and said:
- I do not.
Wells said:
-O, I say, here’s a fellow says he doesn’t kiss his mother before he goes to bed.

They all laughed again. Stephen tried to laugh with them. He felt his whole body hot and confused in a moment. What was the right answer to the question? He had given two and still Wells laughed. But Wells must know the right answer for he was in third of grammar…..He still tried to think what was the right answer. Was it right to kiss his mother or wrong to kiss his mother? What did that mean to kiss? You put your face up like that to say goodnight and then his mother put her face down. That was the kiss. His mother put her lips on his cheek; her lips were soft and they wetted his cheek; and they made a tiny little noise: kiss. Why did people do that with their two faces?” (25-26).

The purpose of the passage is to declare how immature that Stephen was. He was going through the immature phase of trying to impress his friends by denying his affections towards his mother. He was in a puzzle and was confused. What was the right way? Should he tell his friends that he does or doesn’t kiss his mother? He allows his friends to influence his emotions and his decisions. He contains no reflection of his own thought of mind about what is right or wrong. He only values what his friends think rather then to contain his own value of life. He struggles to find the meaning of saying goodnight to his mother and giving her kiss after. He questions himself with if it was right to kiss his mother. Why did the other kids laughed at both responses? He was caught in the moment and wanted to laugh as well but found himself blushing as a child would when they had an accident. He could not find why Wells laughed at him twice. In this passage the reader can find Stephen still caught in the early phase of struggling in finding his identity and caring what others think of his actions. Joyce gives Stephen the portrait of an innocent little boy caught in between making the right choice without the influence of his heart but more of his friend’s reactions to his decision making. This declares how psychologist Freud, states how marry your mother is an unconscious thought is in all males and this is proven through the thought of mind that Stephen contains when he images himself kissing his mother every night when telling her goodnight.


As time goes by Stephen escapes the earlier phase of childhood and being embarrassed by his friends and does not run away from showing his emotions any more as he enters the phase of adulthood. He deals with his forever changing emotions. He is opening his eyes to the outer world and is noticing more of his surrounding more then ever. He does not deny expressing his emotions as he has done in his previous experiences. He now contains traits of adulthood. This is established through the following passage …..
“For some time he had felt the slight changes in his house; and these changes in what he had deemed unchangeable were so many slight shocks to his boyish conception of the world. The ambition which he felt astir at times in the darkness of his soul sought no outlet. A dusk like that of the outer world obscured his mind as he heard the mare’s hoofs clattering along the tram track on the Rock Road and the great can swaying and rattling behind him.


He returned to Mercedes and, so he brooded upon her image, a strange unrest crept into his blood upon her image; a strange unrest crept into his blood. Sometimes a fever gathered within him and led him to rove alone in the evening along the quiet avenue. The peace of the gardens and the kindly lights in the windows poured a tender influence into his restless heart. The noise of children at play annoyed him and their silly voices made him feel even more keenly than he felt at Clongowes, that he was different from others. He did not want to play. He wanted to meet in the real world the unsubstantial image which his soul so constantly beheld. He did not know where to seek at or how: but a premonition which led him non told him that this image would, without any overt act of his, encounter him. They would meet quietly as if they had known each other and had made their tryst, perhaps at one of the gates or in some more secret place. They would be alone, surrounded by darkness and silence: and in the moment of supreme tenderness he would be transfigured. He would fade into something impalpable under her eyes and then, in a moment, he would be transfigured. Weakness and timidity and inexperience would fall from him in that magic moment” (66-67).
He is now acknowledging the changes that his mind and body are experiencing. He is transferring into adulthood physically and mentally. In the beginning of the passage he is starting to leave his boyish traits behind and developing new mature trait. He is realizing that his hormones are controlling state of mind when he thinks of Mercedes. His body rises in temperature and his hearts beats faster. He is now allowing himself to be opened minded with his emotion even though before he was embarrassed by his friends and kept his feelings conceal. Before he was afraid to unmask himself but now he shows his reflection as a mature adult. In the middle of the passage he found himself denying the voices of the children and refuses to be playful land foolish like the children. Instead he wants to release his soul into the real world but does not know how to. The passage ends with him telling himself that one day his split personality of his child traits and adulthood traits will collide and will transfer him into one but all this will happen in the eyes of Mercedes. His portrait now contains the traits of an child finding his inner meaning to his emotions and allowing himself to transfer into the early stages of adulthood without being ashamed of who he will become.


In both passages the reader can see how Stephen’s experiences provoke him to increase his growth and allow his self image portrait to transform from his childhood into adulthood. This is proven through his train of thought and how he illustrates his surroundings around him and releases his soul, mind, and spirit into the real world.