Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Big Question:
We live in a world where our surroundings are constantly changing and our characters developing. This change is good. It allows one to adapt to the change around him and discover what traits make up his being. James Joyce describes this process through his protagonist Stephen Dedalus in his novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and allows the reader to see for himself the changes one must over come in his life to find his true calling and in the end acquire happiness. At the beginning of the novel, Stephen is a Catholic school boy who is afraid to voice his opinion and is more intent to view his environment than experience it. Towards the middle of the book, Stephen's voice begins to pour over the pages from his encounter of reporting a school prefect for unjust punishment to discovering his love of poetry and his life as an artist and dropping out of school to pursue it. In the end, his voice is the only thing that guides the pages of the book with the last pages being journal entries. It is then that he has accepted his voice in his society and reached the full potential his life holds. In regards to growing up, finding our voice in society and discovering our purpose seems daunting and intimidating. We run into the question of what will happen if we do not discover our purpose or even fulfill it. And how do we create a voice in our society? Part of growing up is answering those questions and experiencing the benefits they possess. Is Stephen finding and utilizing his voice and talents demonstrate him growing up? How does one go about this in their own life?