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Rachel Bergman December 19 2000 AP EnglishSteele Essay A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Acclaimed Irish author James Joyce uses conflict as a major tool in enhancing his novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man One of the best illustrations of how conflict is used to give life and color to the novel is the conflict between Stephen Dedaluss loyalty to the church and his own need to satisfy his carnal desires and even more than that Stephens need to be an individual and not conform to the standards of the church and society The reader watches Stephen grow and change from his first sexual encounter through his intense guilt and suffering and finally to the time he relieves himself of his guilt by confessing his misdeed to the kindly priest Joyce demonstrates how Stephen is affected by his actions and how his actions change him into the man he will become Stephens first sexual encounter is one of the most important formative events in his life as well as one of the most vital elements of the novel His night with the prostitute is the pivotal event that sets the stage for the rest of the story These events cause him to reevaluate his faith in the church and his feelings about himself After Stephen first commits the sin of fornication he is torn between feelings of intense guilt and extreme pride He believes himself to be so wicked that he is beyond the realm of forgiveness In fact he wishes damnation upon himself so great is his self recrimination Devotion had gone by the board What did it avail to pray when he knew his soul lusted after its own destruction A certain pride a certain awe withheld him from offering to God even one prayer at night though he knew it was in Gods power to take his life while
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