James Joyce uses mostly the third-person point of view in the narrative style of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but he keeps that viewpoint limited. Instead of being omniscient, as is often the case with the third person viewpoint, Joyce's outside narrator is limited in his scope. We are inside only Stephen's head, seeing and hearing only what Stephen does.
Joyce keeps us close to his protagonist, so close that the the narrator's own voice ages with Stephen. For example, in the very first lines, the narrator describes the "moocow" coming down the street, using language appropriate to the child-aged Stephen. As Stephen grows, so does the vocabulary of the narrator, showing that he is limited not only to Stephen's point of view but also to Stephen's linguistic abilities.
In chapter 5, the narrative technique shifts to first person. The narrator and narrative style has been solely focused on Stephen and his experience; at the book's end, Joyce goes a step even closer and allows...
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