“How foolish his aim had been! He had tried to build a breakwater of order and elegance against the sordid tide of life without him and to dam up, by rules of conduct and active interests and new filial relations, the powerful recurrence of the tide within him. Useless.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 82.
Compared to the free indirect discourse in Chapter One, Stephen’s Chapter Two voice is more difficult to pick out of the third-person narration. Stephen’s voice is “growing up” with him, and as evident of the amount of figurative language Joyce uses here, Stephen’s identify as a writer is also developing.