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  1. 1. “A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN” CHAPTER 4FEMINISM: “His eyes showed every encounter with the eyes of women”In this chapter, James Joyce portrayed the picture of Stephen by dictating ‘sense of light’ thatcan be interpreted according to feminist perception. Women are considered as an object of sin.They are only who seduce men and men just attach his sexual desire to her. Women are thosewho become the reason of man’s committing sin, so he makes a rule for him that he will alwayswalk with downcast eyes. In the whole novel, women are presented as weak, fragile andsubmissive.When he read some pages from a book written by ‘Saint Alphonsus Liguori’, his sexual desiresarouse and he feels need for a sexual partner and these desires was dominant in his prayers.This idea of surrender had a perilous attraction for his mind and he feels that his soul besetonce again by the voices of the flesh, which began to murmur to him again, even during hisprayers. (Chp: 4 episode: 2)“Her long fair hair was girlish: and girlish and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty”Stephen was alone and saw a girl on the stream whom was taken by him as “strange andbeautiful seabird”. Women are taken as object of pleasure and beauty as James Joyce mentions“her long slender bare legs were delicate”.Stephen also called is sexual desires as destruction of his personality that desires are evoked bywomen as “he seemed to feel a flood slowly advancing his naked feet”.RELIGIOUS VIEWS:We find three main points about religious views in this chapter. 1) Strict religious observance tothrow out his physical desires. 2) He was offered vocation of priesthood, being called thechurch, means retreats himself to religiosity or spirituality. 3) His universality life begins andthe realization of his true vocation in life (epiphany) happens. He fixed days for prayers:“Sunday was dictated to the mystery of the Holy Trinity, Monday to Holy Ghost, Tuesday toGuardian Angels, Wednesday to Saint Joseph, Thursday to Most blessed Sacrament of the Altar,Friday to the Suffering Jesus and Saturday to the Blessed Virgin Marry”.
  2. 2. Next we see that Stephen offers prayers and thinks it will result the purgation of soul. He alsorepents on his previous deeds and fears of them that they will become the cause of punishmentfor him before God or in the life of Hereafter. So he seeks forgiveness to save himself andreturns to religion.After seeking forgiveness he supposes that God has forgiven him and he will be rewarded byGod in lieu of his forgiveness and worship, he even imagines himself in heaven. As in the textthat: “to see the amount of his purchase start forth immediately in heaven, not as a numberbut as a frail column of incense or as a slender flower”.He adopts strong restrictions towards desires and limits himself in the circle of religion, for thisreason he also modifies all his five senses. He start expecting reward from God impatiently thathe even thinks why he cannot get the whole seven gifts of the Holy Ghost at a time or in asingle time instead of getting them one after another with a pace of time among them.In the very paragraph of this chapter we can observe the dedication of Stephen to the churcheven his every thought was dedicated: “every moment of thought or action for the intentionsof the sovereign pontiff and with an early mass”.He prevents, to see the feminine figures as considered them seductive that invited towards evil,to listen music, to eat savor foods and hence, keeps him in a torturous bond, uncomfortableposition by listening unpleasant sounds, by sleeping in only one position, keeping him awayfrom fire etc. “sat in the most uncomfortable positions, suffered patiently every itch and pain,kept away from the fire”. But in spite of all this Stephen feels unhappy and dissatisfied, as in thetext that: “it was his constant failure to do his own satisfaction”.LANGUAGEJoyces style, which is richly detailed and concretely sensual in earlier sections of the novel, nowbecomes extremely dry, abstract, and academic. This style corresponds with Stephenspsychological state: as Stephen becomes more ascetic and self-depriving, Joyces language losesits colorful adjectives and complex syntax. The very difficulty of reading such dry languagesuggests the difficulty of the life that Stephen is leading. Stephens question at the end ofChapter 4, Section 1 "I have amended my life, have I not?" emphasizes the fact that Joycehimself has amended his prose. Importantly, though Stephen explicitly acknowledges that hislife has changed, he does not say that it has necessarily improved. His heroic efforts to deprivehimself are impressive, but do not necessarily make him a better person.
  3. 3. Spiritual viewsStephen begins fervently to apply spiritual discipline to his own actions, in contrast to hispassive status as a member of the audience listening to Father Arnalls sermon and attemptingto understand it academically. Long passages during the sermon make no mention of Stephenat all, as the focus is on hell itself. Here, however, we focus on Stephens reaction, which is nolonger passive. His withdrawal into himself is not only described in psychological terms, but inphysical ones as well, as when he goes to his room "to be alone with his soul." In applying theknowledge from the sermon, Stephen becomes the master of his spiritual fate. Even his dreamof hell indicates a more active relationship with the torments he undergoes, as the goat likedevils come from his own mind as his own creations. Since they are products of Stephens ownmind, he can disown them if he wishes. Therefore, as scary as the goat nightmare is, it issomething of a release and a relief for Stephen, who runs to the window to be soothed by thefresh air. His decision to confess his sins is the next step in his gradual process of taking controlof his spiritual state.Stephens rigorous program of spiritual self-discipline is impressive, and demonstrates hisextraordinary earnestness. The unbelievable asceticism that he willingly adopts demonstrateshis strength of will and suggests his heroism. Like some of the early ascetics and hermits of theChristian Church, who lived in the desert and ate locusts, Stephen displays an astonishing abilityto overcome his bodily longings and to affirm the superiority of the soul. In doing so, he proveshis similarity to martyrs and saints.Steam of concisenessAt first, Stephen is intrigue by the thought of the priesthood, and pictures himself in theadmired, respected role of the silent and serious priest carrying out his duties. As heimagines the bland and ordered life awaiting him in the church, however, he begins to feel adeep unrest burning inside him. He walks back home from school and passes a shrine to theVirgin Mary, but feels surprisingly cold toward it.When Stephen sees his disorderly house, he knows that his fate is to learn wisdom not in therefuge of the church, but "among the snares of the world." Arriving home, he asks his brothersand sisters where their parents are. He learns that his parents are looking for yet another housebecause the family is about to be thrown out of its current one. Stephen reflects on how wearyhis siblings seem even before they have started on lifes journey."To merge his life in the common tide of other lives was harder for him than any fasting orprayer, and it was his constant failure to do this to his own satisfaction which caused in hissoul at last a sensation of spiritual dryness together with a growth of doubts and scruples."ImagesThe next paragraph is an interesting series of multi-sensory images; Stephen ponders the "colors" ofwords and their "rhythmic rise and fall." Maybe he loves language because he doesn’t have greateyesight and has to express the world through words rather than images?
  4. 4. Stephen thinks that he is a good boy and God gifted him. God has been obliged and merciful to him. hehas a figure of mythical figure as a saint type. That why the devil want to disguise him in the sexualfeelings that comes in the line“When he had eluded the flood temptation many times in this way he grew troubled”“A vague fear that his soul had really fallen”