A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Summary

James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Summary

In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus decides to leave Ireland and become an artist. As a child, he becomes interested in literature, though he's often bullied at school. In his teen years, he begins soliciting prostitutes. He decide to move to Europe to pursue his dreams.

  • Young Stephen attends Clongowes Wood College for boys. One day, he's punished by the prefect for no reason. The shame of this never truly leaves him.

  • As a teen, Stephen begins soliciting prostitutes. He's ashamed of this, however, and after hearing a particularly moving sermon he confesses his sins and devotes himself to God.

  • In college, Stephen lets his studies slide in order to develop his own theory of aesthetics. He decides to leave Ireland to pursue his dream of becoming a writer.


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man cover image

Summary of the Novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man covers the childhood and adolescence of Stephen Dedalus. We see him, over the course of the novel, grow from a little boy to a young man of eighteen who has decided to leave his country for Europe, in order to be an artist.

At the start of the novel, Stephen is a young boy, probably about five-years-old. He is one of the younger students at Clongowes Wood College for boys (a Jesuit elementary school, not a “college” in the American sense). He had been pushed into an outhouse drainage ditch by a student named Wells a few days earlier, and he wakes up ill. While in the infirmary, Stephen dreams of going home for the Christmas holidays. We then see the Dedalus family at Christmas dinner, and a heated argument erupts between Stephen’s father and Dante, Stephen’s governess, about Parnell and the Catholic church. Back at school, Stephen has broken his glasses and has been excused from classwork by his teacher, Father Arnall. The prefect of studies, Father Dolan, comes into class to discipline the students, and singles out Stephen as a “lazy idle little loafer.” Stephen is pandied (his knuckles beaten with a bat) in front of the class, and feels the injustice of his punishment deeply. The other students urge him to speak to the rector of the college. He gets up the courage to do so, and the rector promises to speak to Father Dolan. Stephen is cheered by the other students.

In the second chapter, Stephen is a few years older. He is no longer at Clongowes but at Belvedere College. He has started to become interested in literature, and tends to romanticize his life based on what he reads. He tries to write a poem to the girl he loves, but cannot. He is in a play at Belvedere, and outside of the theater he sees two other students, Heron and Wallis, who tease him about the play, and jokingly make him recite the Confiteor. Stephen, while doing so, remembers a recent incident when his English teacher suspected him of heresy. Stephen takes a trip to Cork with his father, and his father shows him the town where he was born and raised, and the school he attended when he was Stephen’s age. Back in Dublin, Stephen wins a sum of money for an essay competition, and, for a brief time, treats himself and his family to a “season of pleasure.” When the money runs out, we can see him wandering the red light districts of Dublin, fantasizing about the prostitutes. As the chapter ends, Stephen has his first experience with a prostitute.

In Chapter Three, it is apparent that Stephen has made a habit of soliciting prostitutes. He goes through the motions in school and at church, and is not bothered by the duplicity of his life. He goes on a religious retreat with his class, and the priest’s sermon about sin and damnation affects Stephen deeply. He repents, goes to confession at the chapel across town, and takes communion.

Stephen has now dedicated his life to God. He prays constantly, and goes about mortifying his senses. He has completely renounced his sinful relations with the prostitutes, and the director at Belvedere speaks to him about becoming a priest. The idea first seems to appeal to Stephen, but he ultimately decides that he could not become a priest.

His father is making plans for Stephen, now 16, to enter the university. Walking along the seashore one afternoon, thinking about poetry, Stephen sees a young woman bathing. They stare at each other, but do not speak. Stephen takes this as a spiritual sign, and he excitedly decides to dedicate his life to art.

In the final chapter, Stephen is at the university. He is lazy about his classes but vehement about his developing theory of aesthetics. He refuses to sign a political petition, trying to set himself apart from the concerns of his country’s politics or religion. Talking to his close friend, Cranly, Stephen announces that he has decided to leave Ireland for Europe to pursue his artistic vocation. The novel closes with a few pages out of Stephen’s diary, as he makes plans to leave for the continent.

Estimated Reading Time
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is broken up into five chapters—the first four are about equal in length; the fifth is about twice as long as the others. Each chapter should take about an hour to read, though the language and unconventional narration style may take some getting used to. Spending two separate hour-long sittings on the fifth chapter, a student should be able to read the novel in six one-hour sittings.

The Life and Work of James Joyce
James Joyce was born in Dublin, Ireland, on February 2, 1882. He was the oldest of ten children, and was born into a comfortable and, by some standards, wealthy home. However, while Joyce was growing up, his family’s economic situation became progressively worse.

He was able to attend Clongowes Wood College, an exclusive Jesuit boarding school, from age six to nine, but was forced to leave in 1891 when his father, John Stanislaus Joyce, lost his position as collector of rates in Dublin and could no longer afford to send James to school. After a brief stint at the Christian Brothers’ School, James was allowed to attend the Jesuit Belvedere College, thanks to a special arrangement by a former rector at Clongowes, Father John Conmee. Father Conmee had become prefect of studies at Belvedere and, remembering James’ ability as a student, arranged for him and his brothers to attend Belvedere without fees.

Joyce was a distinguished student at Belvedere, winning several exhibitions (cash prizes for scholarship in national competitions), and being elected, two years in a row, to the office of prefect of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the highest honor at Belvedere. He became interested in poetry, drama, philosophy and languages, and upon graduation in 1898, entered University College, Dublin at age 16.

Joyce gained a reputation as a radical thinker by reading a paper entitled “Drama and Life” before the Literary and Historical Society. He published an essay in the Fortnightly Review entitled “Ibsen’s New Drama,” defending the controversial playwright. In these and other essays and reviews he wrote during this period, Joyce defended a realistic representation of life on stage, as opposed to what he took to be a sentimental and moralistic nationalism. The trouble he faced getting permission from the president of the university to read “Drama and Life” was the first of many struggles with censorship in Joyce’s career. He graduated in 1902, with a degree in modern languages, having studied Italian, French, German, and literary Norwegian as well as Latin.

The Joyce family during this time had been getting both larger and poorer—they had to move around frequently, setting up temporary residences, and were forced to sell many of their possessions to keep creditors at bay. Anxious to escape what he saw as a confining and restrictive environment in Dublin, Joyce left in 1902 to live in self-imposed “exile” in Paris. He had to return, however, in April 1903, as his mother was dying. Mary Jane Joyce died in August of that year, and James Joyce remained in Dublin for over a year, during which time he wrote and published poetry, worked on short stories (some of which were eventually published in the Dubliners collection), and began the initial draft of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, then entitled Stephen Hero.

He left Dublin again in October 1904, with Nora Barnacle. Joyce never returned to Dublin, except for a few brief visits (the last of which was in 1912), though his home city and country continued to dominate his imagination. He lived and taught in Trieste and Rome until World War I, then moved with Nora, their son Giorgio and daughter Lucia to neutral Zurich, where they stayed until 1920. The Joyces then moved to Paris, where they lived until 1940. James and Nora then returned to Zurich, where James Joyce died on January 13, 1941.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was published in 1916, but the story of its composition covers a ten-year span in Joyce’s life. At the end of the novel, we see the words “Dublin 1904—Trieste 1914.” This does not mean, as we might expect, that Joyce spent these ten years working on the text as we have it. In 1904, he wrote a combination short story and autobiographical essay entitled “A Portrait of the Artist.” When he could not get it published, he began to rewrite it as a novel with the working title Stephen Hero. Joyce worked on Stephen Hero intermittently for four years, but became ultimately dissatisfied with his lengthy and cumbersome method. He decided to rewrite the unfinished Stephen Hero in five long chapters, selecting and condensing only the most significant episodes in Stephen Dedalus’ development. This novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, was finished in 1914, published serially in The Egoist during 1914 and 1915, and finally published by B. W. Huebsch in New York in 1916. As with his other work, Joyce had considerable trouble getting Portrait published, both because of the obscenity laws and because of his unconventional literary form.

James Joyce’s literary reputation is remarkable when we consider his relatively scant output. Aside from his play, Exiles, and a few books of poetry, which have not earned much attention, Joyce’s canon consists of a collection of stories, Dubliners (1914), and three novels—besides Portrait, the mammoth Ulysses (1922) and the even more mammoth Finnegans Wake (1939). Each of these represents a cornerstone of modernist fiction, and in each work Joyce extends his innovative and experimental style to further limits, leaving a permanent mark on the development of twentieth- century literature. His reputation and influence are as strong today as ever—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars and international professional conferences, Joyce’s work continues to generate a staggering degree of critical interest. As Richard Ellmann wrote, “We are still learning to be James Joyce’s contemporaries.”

Perhaps the first thing that will strike a first-time reader of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the initial strangeness of the language. Joyce’s technique is to have the language of the narration try to mirror the linguistic and intellectual development of Stephen Dedalus—therefore, in the first chapter, the vocabulary and sentence structure are more simplistic, limited, and childlike. The narrative is closely aligned with Stephen’s consciousness and perspective—therefore, the narrative style could be said to mature along with young Stephen. As the novel progresses, and Stephen becomes better acclimatized to his world, the language expands and develops accordingly.

Whereas in the Stephen Hero stage of the novel’s composition Joyce was trying to cram every detail about Stephen’s life into the narrative, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man he exercises much more selectivity. The novel presents only the most important events in Stephen’s life, without as much attention to chronological and temporal sequence as we would find in a traditional novel. The subject of the novel is Stephen’s internal intellectual and artistic development, so the conflicts and climaxes which would motivate a traditionally plotted novel are in this case a matter of internal relations. A conflict is important because it is so for Stephen; a climax is such because of its importance in Stephen’s ultimate spiritual development Each scene or episode in the novel, then, will be loaded with significance on a number of levels.

Fundamental to the technique and structure of this novel is Joyce’s conception of epiphany. An epiphany, as Joyce conceives it, is a moment of intense perception, or a feeling of total understanding; one’s life is punctuated by such moments. In Stephen Hero, Joyce defines his (and Stephen’s) conception of epiphany thus:

By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself. He believed that it was for the man of letters to record these epiphanies with extreme care, seeing that they themselves are the most delicate and evanescent of moments.

The epiphany is a moment of extreme significance for the subject, or the beholder, and for the object which he or she observes—the epiphany reveals something essential about the person or thing that is observed. Stephen and Joyce understand that the purpose of the artist is to record and present these moments of privileged spiritual insight. The religious source of Joyce’s conception (the feast day celebrating the revelation of the infant Christ to the Magi) indicates that this is a spiritual, non-rational conception of knowledge.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man represents the growth and development of Stephen’s soul, and the novel is structured around the epiphanies Stephen experiences while growing up. Thus, the narrator is less concerned with dates, ages, time, and a clear chronological sequence. Joyce’s conception of epiphany allows us to view time in the novel as a coalescence of past, present, and future. This means, then, for our reading and interpretation of the novel, that each scene will be dense with significance, shedding light on past events in the narrative as well as looking forward to future developments. Joyce is extremely selective—there are many gaps in the story of Stephen’s life we must fill in while reading. But this means that we must pay extra attention to the episodes we are given, and the language in which they are told.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Synopsis

As its title suggests, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a kind of self-portrait, a novel that traces the development of its...

(The entire section is 99 words.)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Summary

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a bildungsroman, a novel of education; in this case, it is the growth of the artist from his earliest childhood to his declaration of his proper role as an artist, a “priest of the eternal imagination.” The novel begins with the earliest experience of the protagonist, Stephen Dedalus. His world is a world of sensations, especially of touch and smell. Later those sensations will be connected to words, and by the end of the book he recognizes that words have an independent existence. He also recognizes the demands that he submit, to “apologize,” as his father and Aunt Dante demand. Throughout the novel, Stephen is continually evading most of the demands that are placed on him. An artist must be free.

The next section takes place at a Jesuit boarding school, Clongowes; the concluding incident in the chapter also takes place there. Stephen had lost his glasses and was, therefore, unable to do his lesson. Father Dolan, however, refuses to accept his explanation. Stephen goes to the rector, Father Conmee, to seek redress. Conmee at first suggests that Father Dolan did not know of the lost glasses, but Stephen insists that he did know. Finally, Conmee reluctantly agrees to order Dolan not to punish Stephen the next day. The chapter ends with Stephen declared a hero by his classmates; he now feels “happy and free.” Each chapter of the book ends in some kind of triumph for Stephen. The beginning of the following chapters, however, shows a decline.

The second chapter continues the development of Stephen as he experiences a change in his situation. His father’s finances decline and he leaves Clongowes and becomes a day student at another Jesuit school, Belvedere. He also begins to be interested in women. He is involved with the young Ellen and dreams about the fictional Mercedes, who will initiate and transform him. He imagines an encounter with Mercedes when “weakness and timidity and inexperience would fall from him.” Stephen’s initiation, however, is more sordid. He feels lust rather than love and wishes to fall into sin with a real woman and not an idealized figure from fiction. He goes to the red-light district of Dublin to seek that encounter. The chapter ends with Stephen and a prostitute. She embraces him, and he feels “joy and relief.” He will not, however, kiss her; he wishes to retain his aloof independence but finally surrenders and submits. It is, however, a necessary fall; Joyce’s artist must fall in order to create “life out of life.”

The beginning of the chapter is a decided decline. Stephen does not feel transformed but degraded by his sexual encounter. He feels like a beast instead of a man. Then a retreat is announced at school; Stephen is to hear powerful sermons by a Jesuit. He is immediately affected; he feels that the words are aimed directly at him. He also thinks of a way out; the Virgin will take his hand and that of an innocent young girl, Emma, and lead him to forgiveness and an innocent love. It will not, however, be that easy for Stephen; he is forced to confront his sin and his fate by the Jesuit preacher. The preacher speaks of hell and its terrible punishments. He cites the condemnation of Lucifer, who, like Stephen, will not serve or submit. His description of hell sounds remarkably like Clongowes. The smells and companions of the preacher’s hell are exactly like Stephen’s memories of his first school. The effect on Stephen is immediate. He calls for help that evening in his bedroom and vomits in disgust at what he has done. He believes that he has lost his innocence and turned himself into a beast. He confesses his sin and once more submits, although this time it is to the Church rather than a prostitute. The last scene of the chapter parallels the earlier one; he takes the host as he had taken the kiss. Yet the Church is not to be Stephen’s final choice; it is only a stage in his development.

There is a marked change in the beginning of the next chapter. Stephen has become religious, but his life afterward tends to be dry and mechanical. He imagines himself as a spiritual accountant adding up his devotions. He is then approached by the rector to see if he aspires to the priesthood, particularly for the Jesuit order. At first, he is attracted to the image of himself as a Jesuit, but he quickly dismisses it when he imagines himself back in the cold and smells of Clongowes. In addition, he discovers that his place is “wandering among the snares of the world.”

The novel then brings Stephen back to the disorder of his home. He begins to recall a beautiful phrase he has memorized and realizes that it is not the meaning or the “colors” of the words that please him but their sound pattern or rhythm. Stephen as a developing artist has developed his relationship with words from the identification of sound and meaning to a love of syntactic patterns for their own sake.

At the end of the chapter, Stephen comes upon a young girl on the beach. She is described as “a strange and beautiful seabird.” His response is one of “profane joy.” Her image passes into him, and he announces his vocation. “To life, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life!” It is the most important of the many triumphant chapter endings. Stephen realizes that his place is in the fallen world rather than that of the priesthood. He now knows what his vocation is but has not yet actually created a work of art to certify his role as an artist. At this point, he is a potential artist, and a very young one.

The first part of chapter 6 is devoted to Stephen’s discussion of the aesthetic he has developed; it is a prelude to the actual creation of a poem in the second part of the chapter. Stephen’s aesthetic is rather sophisticated and can be related to many of Joyce’s own works. He speaks of the stages of an artist’s work: from lyric to epic to dramatic. The artist begins, as Stephen does, with self-expression and continues to “refine himself out of existence.” The aim is an impersonal art that Joyce develops in Ulysses. He also spells out the three elements needed in a work of art: “wholeness, harmony, and radiance.”

The poem that Stephen writes is a villanelle, a highly artificial form; many critics have condemned it and see Stephen as the type of artist that Joyce would reject. They see a considerable amount of distance between Joyce and his protagonist. Others, however, see Stephen as a young but genuine artist.

The last section of the chapter is filled with images of flight as Stephen prepares to leave Ireland and its “nets” of patriotism and church. The true artist needs to be independent, which is impossible for Stephen in Ireland. One other ironic note is found at the close of the chapter. Stephen sees his beloved, to whom he had just written a poem, being caressed by his friend, Davin. Joyce, obsessed with the betrayal of friends and lovers, wrote about it in nearly every one of his major works.

The last part of the book is a series of journal entries by Stephen. The narrator has disappeared. The entries speak of Stephen’s beloved, the images of the road and his departure, and the type of art Stephen is to pursue. The last two entries speak of Stephen’s exalted role as an artist: “I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smith of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.” The aim is not merely to create individual works but to bring about a “spiritual liberation.”

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Summary

(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

When Stephen Dedalus goes to school for the first time, his last name soon gets him into trouble. It sounds too Latin, and the boys tease him about it. The other boys see that he is sensitive and shy, and they begin to bully him. School is filled with unfortunate incidents for Stephen. He is happy when he gets sick and is put in the infirmary away from the other boys. Just before the Christmas holidays, and again in the infirmary, he worries about dying and death. As he lay on the bed thinking, he hears the news of Charles Stewart Parnell’s death. The death of the great Irish leader is the first date he remembers—October 6, 1891.

At home during vacation time, he learns more of Parnell. Stephen’s father, Simon Dedalus, worships the dead man’s memory and defends him on every count. Stephen’s aunt, Dante Riordan, despised Parnell as a heretic and a rabble-rouser. The fierce arguments that they get into every day burn themselves into Stephen’s memory. He worships his father, and his father says that Parnell had tried to free Ireland, to rid it of the priests who were ruining the country. Dante insists that the opposite is true. A violent defender of the priests, she levels every kind of abuse against Simon and his ideas. The disagreement between them becomes a problem that, in due time, Stephen will have to solve for himself.

Returning to school after the holidays, Stephen gets in trouble with Father Dolan, one of the administrators of the church school he attends. Stephen has broken his glasses, and he cannot study until a new pair arrives. Father Dolan sees that Stephen is not working, and thinking that his excuse about the glasses is false, he beats the boy’s hands. For once, the rest of the boys are on Stephen’s side, and they urge him to complain to the head of the school. With fear and trembling, Stephen goes to the headmaster and presents his case. The head understands and promises to speak to Father Dolan about the matter. When Stephen tells the boys about his conversation, they hoist him in their arms like a victorious fighter and call him a hero.

Afterward, life is much easier for Stephen. Only one unfortunate incident marks the term. In the spirit of fun, one of his professors announces in class that Stephen has expressed heresy in one of his essays. Stephen quickly changes the offending phrase and hopes that the mistake will be forgotten. After class, however, several of the boys accuse him not only of being a heretic but also of liking Lord Byron, whom they consider an immoral man and therefore no good as a poet. In replying to their charges, Stephen has his first real encounter with the problems of art and morality. They are to follow him throughout his life.

On a trip to Cork with his father, Stephen is forced to listen to the often-told tales of his father’s youth. They visit the places his father had loved as a boy. Each night, Stephen is forced to cover up his father’s drunkenness and sentimental outbursts. The trip is an education in everything Stephen dislikes. At the end of the school year, Stephen wins several prizes. He buys presents for everyone, starts to redo his room, and begins an ill-fated loan service. As long as the money lasts, life is wonderful. One night, when his money is almost gone, he is enticed into a house by a woman wearing a long pink gown. He learns what love is at age sixteen.

Not until the school holds a retreat in honor of Saint Francis Xavier does Stephen realize how deeply conscious he is of the sins he has committed with women. The sermons of the priests about heaven and hell, especially about hell, eat into his mind. At night, his dreams are of nothing but the eternal torture that he feels he must endure after death. He cannot bear to make confession in school. At last, he goes into the city to a church where he is unknown. There he opens his unhappy mind and heart to an understanding and wise old priest, who advises him and comforts his soul. After the confession, Stephen promises to sin no more, and he feels sure that he will keep his promise. For a time, Stephen’s life follows a model course. He studies Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle and wins acclaim from his teachers. One day, the director of the school calls Stephen into his office; after a long conversation, he asks him if he had ever thought of joining the order of the Jesuits. Stephen is deeply flattered. Priesthood becomes his life’s goal.

When Stephen enters the university, however, a change comes over his thinking. He begins to doubt, and the longer he studies, the more confused and doubtful he becomes. His problems draw him closer to two of his fellow students, Davin and Lynch, and farther away from Emma, a girl for whom he had felt affection since childhood. He discusses his ideas about beauty and the working of the mind with Davin and Lynch. Stephen will not sign a petition for world peace, winning the enmity of many of the fellows. They call him antisocial and egotistic. Finally, neither the peace movement, the Irish Revival, nor the Church itself could claim his support.

Davin is the first to question Stephen about his ideas. When he suggests to Stephen that Ireland should come first in everything, Stephen answers that to him Ireland is an old sow that ate her offspring.

One day, Stephen meets Emma at a carnival, and she asks him why he had stopped coming by to see her. He answers that he had been born to be a monk. When Emma says that she thinks him a heretic instead of a monk, his last link with Ireland seems to be broken. At least he is not afraid to be alone. If he wants to find and to understand beauty, he has to leave Ireland, where there is nothing in which he believes. His friend’s prayers, asking that he return to the faith, go unanswered. Stephen gathers his belongings, packs, and leaves Ireland, intending never to return. He does intend to write a book someday that will make clear his views on Ireland and the Irish.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chapter Summary and Analysis

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Mr. Dedalus: Stephen’s father

Mrs. Dedalus: Stephen’s mother

Stephen Dedalus: the protagonist and focal character of the narrative

Uncle Charles: Stephen’s granduncle

Dante: Stephen’s governess

Brigid: the Dedalus’ maid

Rody Kickham: student at Clongowes

Nasty Roche: student at Clongowes

Wells: student at Clongowes who pushed Stephen into the ditch

Simon Moonan: student at Clongowes, caught “smugging”

Tusker Boyle: student at Clongowes, caught “smugging” with Simon

Jack Lawton: Stephen’s competitor in class

Father Arnall: Stephen’s math and...

(The entire section is 3441 words.)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Mike Flynn: Stephen’s running coach

Aubrey Mills: Stephen’s friend in Blackrock

Maurice: Stephen’s younger brother

Vincent Heron: Stephen’s friend and “rival” at Belvedere

Wallis: Heron’s friend

Mr. Tate: Stephen’s English teacher at Belvedere

Boland and Nash: Heron’s two friends

Doyle: the director of the play Stephen is in at Belvedere

Johnny Cashman: an old friend of Simon Dedalus in Cork

E--- C--- / Emma: the girl Stephen secretly admires

In the first section, the narrator says that Uncle Charles smokes his morning pipe in the outhouse,...

(The entire section is 4939 words.)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chapter 3 Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Ennis: a classmate of Stephen’s at Belvedere

Old Woman: in the street, who directs Stephen to the chapel

Priest: at the Church Street chapel where Stephen confesses

Stephen has now made a habit of visiting brothels. In school, he is bored and uninspired, and the narrative details the wanderings of his mind while he sits in class. He is not plagued by guilt for his sins, but rather feels a “cold lucid indifference.” He feels that he is beyond salvation, and can do nothing to control his lust. He has begun to despise his fellow students, in part because of what he sees as an empty and hypocritical piety on their part. He serves as prefecture...

(The entire section is 4813 words.)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chapter 4 Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
The Director: at Belvedere College, asks Stephen to consider joining the priesthood

Dan Crosby: a tutor, who goes with Stephen’s father to find out about the university for Stephen

Dwyer, Towser, Shuley, Ennis, Connolly: acquaintances of Stephen’s; he sees them swimming near the strand

Stephen has now dedicated his life to the service of God—each day is structured around prayer, ritual, and religious devotions. He attends mass each morning, and offers ejaculations and prayers each day for the souls in purgatory. He sees his daily life now in terms of eternity, and senses an immediate connection between his acts on earth and their...

(The entire section is 5486 words.)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chapter 5 Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Temple: a gypsy socialist student, he is the instigator of the debate

Lynch: student at the university, to whom Stephen sounds off about his theory of aesthetics

Donovan: student whom Stephen dislikes; Stephen and Lynch see him on their walk

Father Moran: priest with whom Stephen thinks Emma flirts

Dixon: medical student at the library with Cranly

The Captain: a dwarfish old man, whom Stephen sees at the library

O’Keefe: student who riles Temple outside the library

Goggins: stout student outside the library

Glynn: young man at the library

At the start of the final chapter,...

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