A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man begins with the reader being taken through Stephen's developing life and his conscious thought. The reader is tossed around inside Stephen's head and we learn about the character from the inside. Although I find the stream of consciousness an
interesting way to explore Stephen as a character, I believe it makes the book difficult to comprehend. As we are lead through Stephen's experiences at school I sympathize with the various situations that he encounters.
Stephen's character is easy to relate to because as children we all experience some of the same challenges that he faced.
We learn that Stephen is a very sensitive young man and he prefers to contemplate and intellectualize interactions with his classmates rather than play sports. Stephen is a very good student and he seems to get along withall of his schoolmates except for Wells the bully.
Even though Wells pushedhim into a filthy ditch and taunts him about kissing his mother Stephenminds his father and does not tattle on him. Through this action we learn of Stephen's pride and courage.
As we follow Stephen's journey through childhood we learn about hislove for beautiful things. He contemplates his place in this world and the enormity of God. Stephen was upset with himself for not knowing more about politics and "where the universe ended." He felt "small and weak". I
think that Stephen was a sad and lonely young man for examining such complex and lofty topics at such a young age. I relate to Stephen being homesick and the feeling of not fitting in with my peers. I also count the days until I will see my family on holidays.
Through Joyce's imagery we explore Stephen's most basic senses like sound, smell, touch and sight. Stephen is...