Get help from the best in academic writing.

Essay on the Artist as Hero in A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man

The Artist as Hero in A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce is a partly autobiographical account of the author’s life growing up. The novel chronicles the process through which the main character, Stephen, struggles against authority and religious doctrine to develop his own philosophies on life. Stephen is not necessarily rebelling against God and his father as much as he is finding his own person, creating his own life. He is an artist, not because of the outcome of his life, but because of the process he goes through to achieve that outcome. The artist is a hero because of the sacrifices he makes, the persecution he endures, and the risks he undertakes merely to set foot towards his vision.

Joyce demonstrates that whether or not Stephen achieved his vision is insignificant to the actual journey itself. First of all, the novel concludes not with the outcome of Stephen’s life but with the beginning stages of his journey. “Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead,” he writes in the last sentence of the novel. Joyce purposefully ends the book before Stephen’s sets off, to emphasize that the process he undergoes to reach that point where he can reject the very foundation upon what his life was based is where the importance lies. The infamous hell scene spans over twenty pages not to frighten the reader as much as to show how difficult it is to even become an artist and fight conformity. All process towards breaking away is lost after the preacher’s sermon on hell, as shown in the following passage:

He beat his breast with his fist humbly, secretly under cover of the wooden armrest. He would be at one with others…

… middle of paper …

…d for his art, seeing that his religion is no good for his heart, he forges a new life and religion for his own, fulfilling his destiny as an artist.

Works Cited

Beebe, Maurice. “The Artist as Hero.” James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Text, Criticism, and Notes. Ed. Chester G. Anderson. New York: Penguin, 1968. 340-57.

Ellmann, Richard. “The Limits of Joyce’s Naturalism.” Sewanee Review 63 (1955): 567-75.

Givens, Seon, ed. James Joyce: Two Decades of Criticism. New York: 1948. 2nd ed. 1963.

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The Portable James Joyce. Ed. Harry Levin. New York: Penguin, 1976.

Power, Arthur. Conversations with James Joyce. Ed. Clive Hart. London: Millington, 1974.

Wright, David G. Characters of Joyce. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1983.

A Two-Class Society Exposed in The Stolen Party

A Two-Class Society Exposed in The Stolen Party

In a perfect world we would all live together in peace. But we don’t live in such a world. In Liliana Heker’s story “The Stolen Party” we are reminded of the real world and the thin line that separates the lower class from the upper class. In an instant we see all the discrimination and inhumane treatment some people feel they have a right to inflict on those whom they consider “not one of them.”

The story is about Rosaura, the nine-year-old daughter of a woman who does housecleaning for a wealthy family. Rosaura often accompanies her mother to work and does her homework with Luciana, the daughter of the house. As a result, or so she thinks, Rosaura is Luciana’s friend and has been invited to her birthday party. Rosaura’s mother states that she does not want her daughter to go to the party, because “it’s a rich people’s party” (1133). She tries to explain to her daughter that the people will look at her as “the maid’s daughter” and not as another person (1134). But Rosaura is only nine and “the smartest in her class” (1134), and she feels that Luciana is her friend and would not hurt her in any way.

Rosaura chooses not to listen to her mother’s advice because she feels that she knows what is best for her. Here we see that Rosaura’s mother is trying to make her daughter aware of the difference between Luciana’s family and her own family. We can presume that her mother has had an incident like this before in her life and wants to prepare her daughter for disappointment.

Brandon Spontak states that “Rosaura’s mother is not very educated . . . but has an instinct which only comes from years of experience that she uses to detect problems in life” (89). As Rosaura’s mo…

… middle of paper …

… delicate balance” (1137), she realizes that there is a thin line between classes of people and that she made it even worse by offering Rosaura money. In a perfect world this would never happen. Innocence would not be stolen, dreams would come true and people would look at each other with acceptance, not ignorance in their hearts. The truth is it’s not a perfect world, and the line never disappears. It is just that some people make it more noticeable than others do.

Works Cited

Elliot, Kevin. “The Stolen Future.” Ode to Friendship

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.