Illustration of a man resembling James Joyce wearing a hat and glasses

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

by James Joyce

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Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Through which characters’ consciousness is the narrative focused?

2. Who is “baby tuckoo”?

3. What is the significance of Dante’s maroon and green brushes?

4. What advice does Stephen’s father give him as they leave him off at Clongowes?

5. Why did Wells push Stephen into the ditch?

6. How does Mrs. Dedalus respond to the argument at the Christmas dinner table?

7. What is the story Mr. Casey tells at dinner?

8. According to Athy, why are Simon Moonan and Tusker Boyle in trouble?

9. Why was Stephen exempt from classwork by Father Arnall?

10. What do Stephen’s classmates encourage him to do after Father Conmee pandies him?

1. The narrative is focused, in the style of “free indirect discourse,” through Stephen Dedalus’ consciousness.

2. “Baby Tuckoo” is the “nicens little boy” in the story Stephen’s father tells him when he is very young. It is a figure for Stephen himself.

3. The maroon brush stands for Michael Davitt, and the green brush stands for Parnell, the famous Irish nationalist leaders.

4. He tells him to write home if he wanted anything, and “whatever he did, never to peach on a fellow.”

5. Wells pushed Stephen into the ditch because Stephen refused to swap his snuffbox for Wells’ “seasoned hacking chestnut.”

6. Mrs. Dedalus does not take sides in the debate. She wants them to refrain from discussing politics, if only on this one day of the year, Christmas.

7. Mr. Casey tells a story, designed to provoke Dante, about being harassed by a woman who was condemning Parnell’s affair with Kitty O’Shea. He says that he heard her call Kitty O’Shea a name that he won’t repeat, and so he spit his mouthful of tobacco juice in her face.

8. He says that they were caught in the square with three older students “smugging.” Since homosexual activity is against the rules at Clongowes, they are to be flogged.

9. Stephen was exempted from classwork until his new glasses arrive; he accidentally broke them when he fell on the cinderpath, and cannot see well enough without them to participate.

10. Stephen’s classmates urge him to go speak to the rector, since his punishment was cruel and unfair.

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Chapter 2 Questions and Answers