A Portrait of the Artist as Young Man By James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as Young
By James Joyce
Chapter 1 presented by:
Devon Blew Jake Curtis
Tyler Leigh Matti Haglund
Kristen Mitchell Kota Nishiguchi
Sadie Olson Danyella Burciaga
Chapter Summary
The story starts with a young boy named Stephen who is being told a
children's story by his father. The reader is given some information about
his family before quickly moving forward several years. Stephen is now
around grade school age and attending a very religious, all boys boarding
school. Here he is being bullied and seems to have very few friends. He is
constantly struggling to figure out his place without any real success. He
also ponders on the different names of God and comes to the conclusion
that there is one God that goes by different names according to the
different people. One day he is pushed into a muddy ditch which causes
him to go to become sick and go to the infirmary. It then skips to him at
home for Christmas dinner with his family where are terrible argument
breaks out about the political and religious issues in Ireland. When he
goes back to school he breaks his glasses, rendering him useless until his
new pair arrives. For this he is beaten unfairly. Stephen decides to tell the
rector (schoolmaster) and becomes a hero to the other boys.
Sensory Experiences
Throughout the chapter Joyce uses multiple senses to involve the reader with the
main characters point of view.
• Ex: “And how cold and slimy the water had been!”(7).
-Here the reader can picture the murky water and picture the stuff in it that
would cause it to be slimy.
• Ex: “…and their keys made a quick music: click, click: click, click”(11).
-This vivid sound description lets the reader know that the train station is a
significant place to Stephen because he remembers the specific sound the
keys that the guards had.
• Ex: “ But Mr. Gleeson had round shiny cuffs and clean white wrists and fattish
white hands and the nails of them were long and pointed”(30).
-Stephen pays particular attention to this because he is comparing the
difference between Athy(a kid) and Mr. Gleeson who is an adult.
His use of smaller, less complex adjectives makes it clear that he is still young and
although he is aware of his senses, they are nowhere near his full potential.
• In the first chapter we see James Joyce refer to wet and dry.
• At the beginning of the chapter, Joyce refers to wetting the
• “When you wet the bed first it is warm and then it gets
cold. His mother put on the oilsheets.” Here we can see
that wetting the bed is a “bad” thing but after the oilsheet
is put on the bed, a “good” thing comes of it; the bed is dry.
• “Wet” is demonstrates embarrassment when Stephen is
beaten because he wasn’t working. He began to cry causing
him to become embarrassed.
• Wet=bad
• Dry=good
Motifs Cont.
• Throughout the chapter, Stephen usually associates cold things with bad thoughts
or feelings and warm or hot with good thoughts and feelings, but at times it can be
• “But then they got hot and then he could sleep” (pg 29). This shows that he feels
more comfortable when he is warm.
• Yet when the prefect beats Stephen, he uses the heat to describe the kind of pain
he is in. “A hot burning stinging tingling blow…”(61).
• “And the air in the corridor chilled him too. It was queer and wettish”(23). Here we
are able to the use of the wet as well as the cool feeling Stephen associates with
bad thoughts and the uncomfortable feeling.
• In the book, light represents happiness and joy while dark is bad and fear.
• “The sky was pale and cold but there were lights in the castle” (22). Here Stephen
becomes happy when he can see the light in the “castle” even though it is cool and
pale outside.
• “… before he could make up his mind to come back, he had entered the low dark
narrow corridor that let to the castle”(65). Here we can tell that Stephen is scared
of walking into the rector’s room.
Implied Tension Between Catholics and
• This topic in chapter 1 is pertinent, but not a focus. Stephen is
subjected to the perpetual religious feud from the very beginning of
his life when he declares that “…he was going to marry Eileen,” (20).
Because Eileen was a Protestant, Stephen grew scared from Dante
and his mothers’ reactions to his statement which caused him to
“…hid[e] under the table” and he was later forced to apologize for
such hypocrisy.
• At Christmas dinner his aunt and Mr. Casey are arguing over the line
between religion and politics and his aunt accuses the Irish leader
of being Protestant for being under the control of the English
government. This further engrains the idea that the Irish Catholics
and English Protestants will continue to feud as long as children are
brought up in an environment of hate for one another.
Perceived Hypocrisy and Betrayal of Catholicism
• In the early parts of the book, Stephen details
through his encounters with adults the
hypocrisy and betrayal of Catholicism.
– “O, come all you Roman Catholics that never
went to mass.” (46)
– This quote by Dedalus calls out the Catholics who
criticize people for not being devout to their
religion when they themselves seldom attend
Perceived Hypocrisy and Betrayal of Catholicism
• During the quarrel over religion, Dante states
– “And am to sit here and listen to the pastors of my
church being flouted?” (43)
– Dante, who is responding to Mr. Dedalus who
wishes to end the debate over Catholicism. She
calls him out, practically declaring him a traitor for
letting the pastors and their name be harassed.
Evaluation/Establishment of Identity
“Then at the door of the castle the rector had shaken hands with his father and mother,
his soutane fluttering in the breeze, and the car had driven off with his father and
mother on it. They had cried to him from the car, waving their hands”(3).
This quote shows that Stephen has never left home before and his parents are worried
about him. He has been babied by his parents and now is left alone at school where he
knows nobody and has no family. This is how Stephen starts out as a isolated character
who doesn’t really know what’s coming next for him.
“It was Wells who had shouldered him into the square ditch the day before because he
would not swop his little snuffbox for Well’s seasoned hacking chestnut.(7)”
The other boys seem to bully Stephen by pushing him around and forcing him into things
he doesn’t want to do. Stephen doesn’t know how to respond or interact with the other
boys which puts him more on the outs with them. Again Stephen is skeptical and keeps
himself isolated from the boys.
“He told them what he had said and what the rector had said and, when he had told
them, all the fellows flung their caps spinning up into the air and cried: Hurroo!”(40)
At the end of the first chapter, Stephen gets punished by Father Dolan for breaking his
glasses and not being able to do his themes because of this. Stephen didn’t break his
glasses on purpose but Father Dolan insisted that Stephen was just trying to get out of
his work, so he “pandied” him. The boys then told Stephen to tell the Rector what had
happened. Stephen does and to the boys this was a triumph because someone actually
stood up for themselves. After this incident Stephen will most likely get more respect
from the boys and start to accept him.
Isolation, Differentness, and Weakness
• At Clongowes Wood College, Stephen is not very popular.
He is often isolated and bullied.
- "He felt his body small and weak amid the throng of
players and his eyes were weak and watery." (20)
• Stephen separates himself from the rest of the boys
because he's aware of his physical weakness.
-"He still tried to think what was the right answer. Was it
right to kiss his mother or wrong to kiss his mother?" (26).
• Stephen is bullied by a boy named Wells. When Stephen
said he did kiss his mother, he was laughed at. When he
claimed that he did not, he was again laughed at. As a reader,
it is clear that there is no "right answer." Stephen felt "hot and
confused" and it is clear that Stephen is socially trapped.
Isolation, Differentness, and Weakness
• Stephen is often punished for his weaknesses and disabilities.
- "...Wells would be sorry then for what he had done." (34)
Here, Stephen dramatically predicts that he will die from the illness caused by
the cesspool he was put in by the bully named Wells. Stephen cannot stop his
tormentors, and this weakness caused his sickness.
-"The scalding water burst forth from his eyes and, burning with shame
and agony and fear, he drew back his shaking arm in terror and burst out into
a whine of pain.“
• Stephen is punished for not writing, but he is unable to write without
glasses. Here, physical weakness and social disability cause his punishment
and pain. His vision disability prevents him from writing, causing the prefect
of studies to interrogate him. When questioned by the prefect of studies,
Stephen, out of nervousness, omits the key details that would have prevented
his "flogging."
Stephen finds beauty in the simplest of things that
surround him. When he looks at something that is
beautiful you can tell that he really appreciates it
because he either repeats the word many times or
talks about its beauty for a while. In the example,
“White roses and red roses: those were beautiful
colours to think of. And for the cards for first place
and third place were beautiful colours too: pink and
cream and lavender…on the little green place.” (9)
He talks about the colors of the roses and the
ribbons for a longer period of time than he usually
focuses on something which means he really sees it’s
true beauty and finds it fascinating. Another way he
expresses something that is beautiful is by repeating
over and over again that it is beautiful. “How
beautiful and sad that was! How beautiful the words
were where they said Bury me in the old churchyard!
A tremor passes over his body. How sad and how
beautiful!” (20) In the example he explains his
excitement about how beautiful the words were by
repeating the words over and over.
Stephen recognizes a lot of poetry and song at a young
age. The way the poetry is described shows to the reader
that he is in awe of the way it is formed and its beauty. He
is learning to appreciate and recognize it. He recognized
nice sentences in Doctor Cornwell’s Spelling Book, and
associates them with poetry even though they were only
to learn from. “Wolsey died in Leicester Abby, Where the
abbots buried him. Canker is a disease of plants, Cancer
one of animals.” (7) This shows his progression as an artist
and his ability to see normal things in class and transform
them into something more. Another example of his growth
in art is, while in class, he is thinking about geography and
where he is in the world and writes down his name to the
universe. “Stephen Dedalus, Class of Elements, Clongowes
Wood College, Sallins, County Kildare, Ireland, Europe, The
World, The Universe.” (13) Then when Flemming wrote
down certain phrases next to some of the words on the
list, Stephen saw it transform into poetry. He appreciated it
much more once it was in poetry form and the poetry
made him think about who he is in the world. Both of the
examples show his mind grow as a poet and artist.
Stephen loves book and finds comfort in
them as well. He finds them magical and
they are objects that could take him away
from the world he was living in. When he
gets sick, one of the first think he could think
of is that he would be able to get a book. “It
would be nice getting better slowly. You
could get a book then.” (22) He was trying to
make the situation more positive and he did
that by thinking about reading a book.
Another way that shows that books were an
escape for him is in the example where he
says “It was nice and warm to see the lights
in the castle. It was like something in a
book.” (7) Because he is young and has not
experienced a lot in his little life, books are a
way for him to use his imagination. They are
a way for him to gain confidence and he can
use them to demonstrate character like the
heroic men in the books do.
All through out the first chapter Stephen repeats
different words many times to really illustrate how
he is feeling. He uses them to show to us his pure
emotion, but I also think that he uses the same
words because he is a child and doesn’t have a very
broad vocabulary. The first example of him
repeating word was when he was getting flogged.
“…and at the sound and the pain scalding tears
were driven to his eyes….though the years scalded
his eyes…the cry that scalded his throat…the
scalding water burst forth from his eyes…he felt the
scalding cry…the scalding tears falling out of his
eyes…” (44). All throughout the chapter he uses the
word cold to describe a different situations.
“…made him feel cold…turned and water cam out:
cold… he felt cold…. The air in the corridor chilled
him.” (9) Those were only a couple examples but he
says the word cold on almost every single page and
uses it to describe almost everything. He also finds
many words very beautiful. “How beautiful and sad
was that! How beautiful those words were where
they said Bury me in the old churchyard! A tremor
passes over his body. How sad and how beautiful!”
He finds many words enchanting and beautiful
which helps show his development as a young
Symbols: Birds
James Joyce represents the freedom that the
main character Stephen longs for by using the
imagery of a bird. The bird portrays Stephen’s
desire of wanting to fly away to escape because
of how trapped he feels. The use of bird imagery
often occurs when Stephen is feeling angsty. On
page 33 Stephen thinks about “a heavy bird flying
low through the grey light…” this yet again
symbolizes the desire he feels of escaping his
sickness. Birds in general also represent mystery
which also symbolizes the distant future that
Stephen sees for himself.
• Water imagery occurs many times throughout chapter one and
represents the reality of the real world that Stephen has to face. On
page 22, Stephen does not want to go in the cold water but he gets
forced which shows how reality isn’t always pleasant. Stephen
compares the feeling of being pushed into the ditch and the feeling
of the water that the he describes to be “cold and slimy” (22). Also
on page 52 Stephen describes the sound of the cricket bats and also
compares this with “drops of water in a fountain slowly falling in the
brimming bowl.” The use of water imagery is also significant here
because it shows how although he is gaining experience over time
he is also losing innocence at the same time. The water imagery
however is very consistent which can also represent Stephen
himself and how he feels at any given time. For example, many
times he finds himself replaying the feeling he got when feeling the
“cold and slimy” water and also the moment where he becomes
frightened because of his illness. Water always seems to be around.
• When Stephen decides to report the rector about his
unfair treatment he had, he correlates his journey to
that of the Greek character Daedalus and the struggle
that he faced when trying to escape his labyrinth.
Stephen described his journey in the castle in much
detail, stating that it was “narrow” and “dark” (65) and
very confusing to find the end which makes it seem as
if he is navigating through a maze.
“The Argument”-Catholics Vs. Irish
• Mr. Dedalus states to Dante
– “We go to the house of God, Mr. Casey said, in all
humility to pray to our Maker and not to hear
election addresses.”
– Dante responds,
– “A priest would not be a priest if he did not tell his
flock what is right and what is wrong.”
• The Irish nationals believe in separation of church
and state, and believe it is morally wrong for
priests and ministers to discuss politics during
mass, while the Catholics believe they should
blindly follow the divine inspiration of priests.
“The Argument”-Loss of Innocence
• During the dinner Stephen watches the parents
argue, realizing the reality of adulthood and loses
some of his admiration of the adults.
• As the book carries on through the first chapter,
Stephen’s innocent child mind is changed by the
new world he encounters. He progresses from
“When you wet the bed it is warm then it gets
cold.”(19) and other childish topic to ultimately
becoming a rebellious hero when he ratted out
Father Dolan for when he unfairly pandied
Stephen’s wrist.
Charles Stewart Parnell
"Parnell was an Irish nationalist and statesman who led the fight
for Irish Home Rule in the 1880s."
Parnell graduated from Cambridge University. Then, entered parliament as a
member of Home Rule League (Irish Parliamentary Party)
Parnell encouraged Irish peasants to stop paying rent to hurt the landlords and
land agents. He also encouraged nonviolence, but his policy was undermined by an
Irish terrorist group.
He was also accused of sleeping with his loyal supporter's wife.
Charles Stewart Parnell in the Text
The Irish are divided between those who support Parnell and those who do not.
Dante is represents the Catholics who do not support Parnell.
-"'Parnell! Parnell! He is dead!' They fell upon their knees, moaning in sorrow. And
he saw Dante...walking proudly and silently past the people who knelt by the
waters edge." (38)
•Up to this point, Dante's position on Parnell isn't revealed and is further expanded
during "the Argument." But here, it's clear that she is indifferent, if not satisfied, with
Parnell's death
-"' A traitor to his country,' replied Dante. 'A traitor, an adulterer! The priests were
right to abandon him.'' (48)
•Dante refers to Parnell's affair with a married woman. It upset the religious supporters,
probably causing the divide in Irish Nationalists.
The Fenian Movement
• In the mid 1800’s, lower class
individuals from Ireland desired
independence after Britain had done
nothing to support Ireland during the
Great Famine. Led by James Stephens
(who influenced Stephen Dedalus’
name) and John O’Mahony, the
movement was comprised of those
who had a strong sense of nationalism
and a will to use violent force to attain
independence. In Portrait, those who
have this strong sense of nationalism
are associated with the movement,
like Dante.
Terence Bellew MacManus
"Didn't the bishops of Ireland betray us in the time of the union when
Bishop Lanigan presented an address of loyalty to the Marquess
Cornwallis? Didn't the bishops and priests sell the aspirations of their
country in 1829 in return for catholic emancipation? Didn't they
denounce the fenian movement from the pulpit and in the confession
box? And didn't they dishonour the ashes of Terence Bellew
MacManus?" (p.33)
Terence Bellew MacManus (1823-1861) was as an Irish radical who
participated in the young Irelander Rebellion on 1848. To his demise he
was committed with treason and sentenced to death.
He was sent to Australia and then escaped to the United States where
he spent the rest of his life until he died in 1861. After his death, his
body was transported back to Ireland where the Fineans celebrated his
life and sacrifices with a large burial service.
In the text, Dante is saying that Bishops betrayed Ireland by not sticking
with the country in the time of need. Because MacManus gave so much
for Ireland, she is saying that the bishops have dishonored his life by not
staying with their country.
Hamilton Rowan
Hamilton Rowan was a founding
member of the Dublin Society of United
Irishmen. He was an Irish celebrity. He
wanted to establish a republic in Ireland
much like that of France.
Escaped arrest for treason by throwing
his hat in to the garden and tricking the
English soldiers into thinking that he
went that way while actually going
“He wondered from which window
Hamilton had thrown his hate on the
haha and had there been flowerbeds at
that time under the windows”(22).
“That is where Hamilton Rowan had
passed and the marks of the soldiers’
slugs were there”(66).
Lord Leitrim’s Coachman
• Lord Leitrim was known as an evil landlord
• While driving to Milford on April 1878 William Sydney
Clements, 3rd Earl of Leitrim and his coachman were
• They were murdered by a farmer’s son revenging a
wrong suffered by his sister
• His funeral sparked a great debate in the House of
Commons in Dublin
• “‘Princes of the church, yes,’ said Mr. Casey with slow
‘Lord Leitrim's coachman, yes,' said Mr. Dedalus." (44)
Michael Davitt
• Davitt was an Irish politician and organizer
of the LRM (Leader Fenian Movment)
however he also served seven years in jail
for attempting to smuggle firearms.
• Stephen refers to Michael Davitt when he
states, "Dante had two brushes in her
press. The brush with the maroon velvet
was for Michael Davitt and the brush with
the green velvet back was for Parnell" (p
• Link to the text: Compared to Parnell,
Davitt was more of a political agitator and
believe that Parnell lacked moderation in
his opposition to English rule.
Irish Politics v. Modern Politics
Parnell, Catholics v. Nationalists
Catholics v. Protestants
Charles Stewart Parnell(1846-1891) was
the founder of the Irish Parliamentary
Party and is known as one of the greatest
figures in Irelands history. When the
English came into Ireland almost all of the
natives remained Catholic.
Parnell was Protestant but the majority of
his party was Catholic. He made himself
and the party known to the English
government but remained a part of it.
The Nationalists wanted Ireland to be
democratic and be able to vote through
local elections. They got this after Parnell’s
Ireland had practically been all Catholic up
until the English Protestant rule came in.
Conflict between the two religions is
extremely similar to the political parties of
the United States.
Each of the religions has major influence
in the country and have been the main
source of conflict throughout the whole
Both Northern Ireland and Independent
Ireland have conflicts between the two.
In the text Stephen experiences these conflicts throughout his Christmas dinner
with his family. “I am a catholic as my father…”(22), “I am no protestant..”(22).
Stephen was raised Catholic and attends a catholic boarding school in order to grow
up with the religion.
Greek Mythology
Daedalus- “The Great Artificer”
• He is also known as “cunning worker”
because of he was a very skilled
craftsman and artesian.
• He built the Labyrinth which housed the
Minotaur, under King Minos's order.
Later he was sent into the labyrinth
with his son Icarus.
• Daedalus built himself and his son a pair
of wings made out of wax and feathers,
which they would use to escape. When
they tried to escape Icarus flew too high
and his wax melted, and he therefore
fell into the sea and died. Daedalus
used his wings to successfully make it
out of the labyrinth.
King Minos
• Son of Zeus and Europa-King
of Crete and was favored by
the gods.
• Some saw him as wise and
just, while many others
feared him, seeing him as a
cruel and wicked king.
• He was given a white bull by
the in order to give to King
Poseidon but instead kept it
for himself.
Minos’ Wife and the Bull
In order for Minos to prove his worth to Poseidon,
he was to sacrifice a great white bull Poseidon
had let free in the ocean. Greedily, Minos kept the
great white bull for himself and sacrificed a bull
from his stock instead. Poseidon ultimately found
out and cursed Minos’ wife, Pasiphae, as
punishment. The curse caused Minos’ wife to fall
in love with the bull and out of this love the
Minotaur was born.
The Minotaur
• In Greek mythology, the
Minotaur is a beast with the
head of a bull and the body of a
• He lived in the center of the
Labyrinth created by Daedalus
and his son Icarus.
• He was put into the labyrinth
because of all the destruction he
cause and was eventually slayed
by Theseus with Aegeus’ sword
during the third sacrifice.
The Labyrinth
• In Greek Mythology the Labyrinth was created by Daedalus for King Minos
in order to hold the Minotaur in.
• Although it is generally thought that labyrinth is just another term for the
word maze, it actually first meant a structure that had one path to the
center and back without branches.
• Stephen’s last name is Dedalus which alludes to the creator of the
labyrinth and just like Daedalus struggled to find his way out of it, so is
Stephen struggling to find his place in life and his country.
• The Labyrinth was created with several traps that are extremely difficult to
get out of.
• Stephen faces these problems in his own life such as when Wells is
bullying Stephen about kissing his mother. No matter how he answered
they still made fun of him which left him feeling trapped.
The Wings
• Deadalus and Icarus wanted to make wings like the birds so they
could escape a tower they were imprisoned in
• They decided to make the wings out of bird feathers and wax
• Icarus was skeptical of the materials used and the wings in general
he said if he flew to close to the sea he would fall in or if he flew to
high the sun would melt his wings and he would fall
• In the end, Daedalus did disobey his fathers orders and he did end
up flying to high and to low and his wings melted and he fell into
the sea and drowned
• Throughout the first chapter Stephen is isolated from the other
school boys because he feels they are all trapped in the Irish
culture. Stephen wants wings like Daedalus to be able to be free
and fly away from the limitations of the strict society. Stephen may
also get the chance to be free and soar, but he may abuse his
freedom and end up like Daedalus.
Icarus’ Fall
Icarus, with the excitement of flight, forgot his father's
warning. He flew too high. The sun melted the wax on
the wings, causing Icarus to fall into the ocean.
Daedalus saw this but was unable to help as his son
drowned in the ocean.
The Icarian sea and the island Icaria were named after
the location where Icarus died.
In this case, Stephen is Icarus, son of Daedalus (Mr.
Dedalus). During the Christmas dinner, the argument
dominates the scene. Being his first time at the adult
table, Stephen is just an observer of the argument, rather
than a participant.
His fall seems to be when he over-reached his limits by
speaking out during the heated battle. By saying, "I
forgot little old Paul Cullen! Another apple of God's eye,"
Stephen supported Dante's position. This overexcited
Dante and Mr. Casey, ending the argument. Mr. Dedalus
cried at the end because he was basically betrayed by his
own son.
Quiz Time
1.) Who tells the story to Stephen when he is a
2.)What do light and dark symbolize?
3.)Who is the boy that bullies Stephen at
4.)Stephen is Protestant. True or False?
5.)What color are the roses Stephen thinks are
Quiz Time
6.)What is the name of Daedalus’ son that dies?
7.) What holiday is it that Stephen goes home at?
8.) Why did Stephen get “pandied”?
9.) What does Stephen do that causes the other
kids to see him as a hero?
10.)Which Irishman escaped arrest by tricking the
a. Parnell b.MacManus c. Rowan D.Davitt
Quiz Answers
1.)Stephen’s father tells him the story.
2.)The light symbolized happiness while the dark symbolized fear.
3.)Wells is the bully at his school.
4.)False, Stephen is Catholic.
5.)The roses are red and white.
6.)Icarus is Daedalus’ son who dies from flying too close to the sun.
7.) Stephen goes home during the Christmas holiday.
8.) He gets beaten because his glasses were broken and he could not
do his work.
9.) The other kids view him as a hero when Stephen goes to the
rector(schoolmaster) and tells him about the unfair beating he
10.) C. Rowan escaped by throwing his cap into a bush, leading the
guards astray.