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An Analysis of the Impact of Several Aspects of a Young Man's Life to His Artistic Development in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce
Word Count: 2,218
James Joyces A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man presents an account of the formative years of aspiring author Stephen Dedalus The very title of the novel suggests that Joyces focus throughout will be those aspects of the young mans life that are key to his artistic development and it allows one to consider each event in Stephens life -- from the opening story of the moocow to his experiences with religion and the university -- as a significant contribution to his growth as an artist Central to the experiences of Stephens life are of course the people with whom he interacts and of primary importance among these people are women who as his story progresses prove to be a driving force behind Stephens art As A Portrait of the Artist progresses the structure of the relationship between Stephen women and art becomes increasingly clear At one point in the novel Stephen comes to the conclusion that his art involves recreating life out of life 434 and at another that he must encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and forge in my soul 526 He realizes that to fulfill his destiny as an artist he must embrace life and the experiences of which it consists for it is from experience that he builds his creations In light of this revelation Stephens life becomes a process of accumulating experiences as well as a struggle to break free of those institutions that would prevent him from doing so For Stephen inspiration requires experience and it is through women that Stephen gains the latter and thus receives the former Stephens relationship with the opposite sex begins to develop early in his life Within the first few pages of the novel lie hints of the different roles women will play in his story Dante becomes the first to give Stephen some experience of the world outside himself when she
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