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Word Count: 761
Woman as a Symbol in Chapter 2 Woman is used many times in Joyces Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Stephen Dedalus the main character of the work is fascinated by woman This fascination is played upon in many circumstances First and foremost is the relationship he has with Dante his aunt While this relationship is mostly discussed in the first chapter its ramifications can be seen in the second Stephen is often reminded of his aunt and the green and red brushes she always had he draws many conclusions however ill informed they are from the knowledge of his aunt He views women as did most boys in his culture as something alien something that he would understand when he grew up Women are presented as mysterious as when Stephen is looking at The Beautiful Mabel Hunter in the evening paper He stares at the picture with awe and not a little confusion- what should he feel Stephen is possessing a self-consciousness that is so melancholy as to be called morbid He has like most young men horrible doubts about himself Women further complicate his disposition For example when he says goodbye to Eileen at the tram he knows he should kiss her but he is mortally afraid to do so Again like most boys his age he thought understanding of women would happen in an instant Weakness and timidity and inexperience would fall from him in that magic moment 65 This stems from the Irish Catholic culture that has surrounded him his whole life Also sex before marriage was a sin- and anything that could lead to sex a kiss was to be avoided as that too could lead to sin Stephen has such low self-esteem at this point he is scared of making any move towards any girl Another example of the use of woman is his being teased by Heron and
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