Comparing crisis of identity in A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man and in Sons and Lovers

Essay by Samia1806University, Bachelor'sB+, December 2014

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Comparing crisis of identity in A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man and in Sons and Lovers

One of the most important problems of mankind in every society is the crisis of identity. It does not really matter which culture, religion or ethnic group someone belongs to as far as identity crisis is concerned. The conflicts, compromises, search of identity could have to do with various issues such as new vs. old or modern vs. conservative and so forth. Our concern in this study is to show the common points of identity crisis of the protagonists in James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and in D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers. Even though these two are totally different novels written in different context, the major characters (Stephen Dedalus and Paul Morel) in each novel possess some basic similarities. Stephen is a modernist character who seeks his own identity and meaning in the complexity of modern experience through art, rather than accepting the identity given to him by traditional society and culture.

On the other hand, Paul Morel is an artist, searching for identity and meaning in his world. The intention of this paper is basically to explain the identity crisis of these two heroes comparatively. Nevertheless their characters are different from each other, the ultimate disappointment in experience to identity crisis is expected in every culture and context.

Theorist Erik Erikson coined the term identity crisis and believed that it was one of the most important conflicts people face in development. According to Erikson, an identity crisis is a time of intensive analysis and exploration of different ways of looking at oneself. To understand identity crisis, we first need to know about Ego Identity. Ego Identity is the image we have of...