What's interesting about the ending of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man?

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The ending of James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is fairly complex, and it takes a bit of time to sift through its many layers. But, on the surface, the essential meaning that Joyce means to get across is that Stephen Dedalus is preparing to leave Ireland in order to pursue his dream of becoming a great writer and artist. 

The final part of the novel continues to experiment with form, as the prose takes the form of diary entries, rather than continuous narrative. Thus, the final sections in the novel are actually examples of Stephen's own writing, rather than Joyce's presentation of Stephen's character. This development signals Stephen's increasing preoccupation with his own writing (and, if we're being honest, his increasing obsession with himself). Additionally, throughout the entries we come to understand that Stephen is leaving Ireland, and...

(The entire section contains 447 words.)

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