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Word Count: 1,510
From Childhood to Adolescence In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the author James Joyce uses the development of Stephen from a sensitive child to a rebellious young man to develop the plot of the novel In this novel Joyce suggests that through Stephens experiences is religion sexuality and education Stephen not only becomes more mature but these experiences also inspire him to redefine his world and his understanding of his true feelings about art Religion besides the practical need for food and shelter is one of the most powerful drives in Stephens life Religion serves as Stephens guidance and saviour yet it is also responsible for his tormented youth and distracting him from his artistic development As a child growing up in a strict Catholic family Stephen is raised to be a good Catholic boy who will follow the teaching of Catholism as his guidance in his life The severity of his family is shown when his mother tells him either to apologise 4 or the eagles will come and pull out his eyes 4 Stephen is taught by his mother to be tolerant when she tells him not to speak with the rough boys in the college 5 Similarly Stephens father also taught him a Catholic quality by telling Stephen never to peach on a fellow 6 Evidence of Stephen following the never to peach 6 quality is shown when Stephen agrees not to tell on Wells for pushing him into a ditch However as Stephen matures into his a dolescence religion becomes his savior rather than his guidance As Stephens family condition declines he sees priesthood as a way to escape poverty and shame In fact priesthood is an opportunity for Stephens personal gain of secret knowledge and secret power 172 In terms of artistic development Stephen is bounded by his religious beliefs which causes him frustration during his adolescence Stephen has been raised to idolize the
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