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Hidden Politics The Impact of Politics in The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man By Elisabeth Ireland By definition politics is the partisan or functional intrigue within a given group However in The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce there is no such concise definition as politics are perpetually melded with Roman Catholicism and Irish nationality Politics themselves are presented in three different manners directly and through the use of symbols and commentary The direct and symbolic portrayal of politics in Portrait occurs mostly in the beginning of the novel However since the novel itself follows the development of Stephens thought processes the full impact of these events and symbols are not acknowledged until later in the novel when a mature Stephen reflects on them Despite ambiguousness politics play a crucial role in the development of the protagonist Stephen Dedalus and his eventual exile from Ireland A major contributor to Stephens confusion growing up is the dynamic equation of Irish nationality politics and Catholicism Ideally separate entities these three qualities are inextricably intertwined One of many instances depicting this occurred at the Dedalus Christmas dinner in an argument involving Dante Rioridan Stephens great-aunt and Mr Casey a friend of the family ---And can we not love our country then asked Mr Casey Are we not to follow the man Parnell who was born to lead us ---A traitor to his country replied DanteThe priests were right to abandon him The priests were always the true friends of Ireland 201 As seen Mr Casey first links national fervor to politics with the rationale that in order to love their country the Irish must also follow a specific politician Charles Parnell Dantes reply furthers the integration of ideals by
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