Conflicts in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Conflicts in A Portrait of
the Artist as a Young Man
Madeline Guzman
Denise Ma
Mariaelena Guerrero
Tatiana Fernandez
Aim: How do we identify conflicts
in The Portrait of the Artist?
Do Now: Answer the following questions:
1. What are some types of conflict in literature?
1. Why do you think conflict is important in literature?
What is Conflict?
Conflict is an opposition between two or more
opposing characters or forces. It is an element of
plot, whether that refers to plots within literature,
plays or films.
Conflicts are mainly divided into two branches:
external conflict and internal conflict. Some
situations in a novel may be a combination of the
External Conflict
Struggles between a character and an outside force
are external conflicts. The main divisions are:
Man vs. Man - mainly protagonist vs. antagonist
Man vs. Society - personifies society as a
"character" with values and traditions that the
protagonist goes against.
Man vs. Nature - often used to symbolize man's
struggle against the universe or God's will.
Internal Conflict
Conflicts between a character and something within
himself/herself, i.e. a psychological struggle. The
main divisions are:
Man vs. Self - usually involves a choice or
overcoming mixed emotions.
Man vs. Faith - based on belief and the strength
of that belief.
Chapter I
Conflict within the novel begins with man vs. man and man
vs. self:
o Father Dolan unjustly punishes Stephen for not
doing his work, not believing his story about
breaking his glasses and calling him a "lazy little
schemer" - Dolan is instantly projected as an
antagonist that goes against Stephen.
o Stephen deals with an internal struggle before he
stands up for himself by reporting Father Dolan to
the rector: "He could go... But he could not go. The
rector would side with [Father Dolan]
Chapter II
o Due to financial troubles the family faces,
Stephen along with the rest of his family move to
Dublin, he is forced to change schools because
he can no longer afford to go to his old school
o Stephen has slowly become more distant from
his family, he believed that he was connected
with them through money but later realized that
he failed to bring his family together again.
Chapter III
Stephen's internal conflicts continue as a young adult
in the form of man vs. faith:
o As a teenager, Stephen struggles with hormonal
urges. He views them as sinful behavior that
goes against Christianity. He makes his choice
however by "giving in to temptation" and
sleeping with a prostitute.
o The regret that follows is a major source of
conflict in this chapter that leads Stephen to
think he will be punished for his "sins".
Chapter IV
o Because of his fear of ending up in Hell,
Stephen devoted himself in his religion. He
wanted to find some form of salvation. He was
so devoted that he was offered a position in
priesthood but ultimately rejected it because it
was not what he wanted to do.
o The myth of Daedalus evokes Stephen to begin
building a new figure that allow him to overcome
his current troubles.
Chapter V
o Man vs. Society: Stephen feels disappointment in
his life, he feels like he is not getting an education
at the university and his parents do not support
anything he does, instead they criticize him. He
becomes socially disengaged.
o Stephen starts to lose faith in religion. He starts to
rely on the aesthetics of Aristotle and Aquinas.
o Later Stephen detaches himself from his friends
and the university and devotes himself to his
artistic plan.