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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce draws on many details of Joyces own actual life while also using fictional situations and events Although the novel is more than just autobiographical its protagonist Stephen Dedalus is essentially Joyces alter ego a fictional double if you will Both Stephen and Joyce share the same political and religious background and encounter the same influences and pressures They both were the son of a devoutly religious mother and a financially clumsy father resulting in their constant relocations Like his protagonist Joyce also attended the same schools where they both struggled with questions of faith and nationality Ultimately both characters experience many circumstances - obsession with language and strain relations with religion family and culture - which eventually lead to the betrayal of their country church and family Joyce makes Portrait a very intriguing novel by not only recounting elements of his own childhood through his protagonist but by additionally depicting what it means to be a young man growing up in a confusing modern world A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man tells the story of Stephen Dedalus a young man who encounters many difficult situations until he finally finds his way and his true self Stephen is the oldest child of an Irish Catholic family who due to financial troubles move from house to house on numerous occasions As he grows older Stephen meets many women who he is sexually attracted to His obsession with sex finally envelopes him when he has sex with a prostitute - his first real sexual acts of many After a very powerful sermon that Father Arnall delivers Stephen is feeling guilty and terrified and becomes almost fanatically religious he prays every morning and makes a daily schedule that is devoted to some religious act Stephen even tries to conquer his obsession with women by turning away when he approaches one However this feeling eventually
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