A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man

“He shook the sound out of his ears by an angry toss of his head and hurried on, stumbling through the mouldering offal, his heart already bitten by an ache of loathing and bitterness. His father’s whistle, his mother’s mutterings, the screech of an unseen maniac were to him now so many voices offending and threatening to humble the pride of his youth. He drove their echoes even out his heart with an execrations: but as he walked down the avenue and felt the grey morning light falling about him through the dripping trees and smelt the strange wild smell of the wet leaves and bark, his soul was loosed of her miseries.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. (147)

Joyce used words here in a way that I think summarizes a large theme in Stephen’s story. His yearn to be more of this world is expressed throughout the novel, however in this moment we see the “loathing and bitterness” that he wishes to “execrate” , I believe both from his own life and mind. We see the first glimpses of the way Joyce uses language to show the chaotic version of life that lives in Stephen’s mind(in his own home) versus the adventure he seeks from the outside world and the escape he craves. (will expand onĀ in drop box).

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