Point of view is an extremely important aspect of Joyce's Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. It's written in third person limited, but those limits imposed on the initial chapter are expanded to such a point that it is very difficult to comprehend what is going on at first. For instance, if you look at the Christmas argument, Stephen is first put in a position where he can't understand who is right. Until this point in his life, he was Catholic and Catholic was right. Now, he has got three people arguing. All three are Catholic and they're saying they're wrong. This is the first time this has happened to Stephen.
Moving on through the chapters, you get to see Stephen develop his thought process and his writing techniques. He plays with words and ideas in his mind and on paper and is actively coming to terms with his life and personality. At the end, we witness his developing theory of aesthetics and finally his journal entries as he decides to leave Ireland. The beauty of Joyce's novel is the inside access we get to a character through the third person limited narration.