A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“But Mr. Gleeson had round shiny cuffs and clean white wrists and fattish white hands and the nails of them were long and pointed. Perhaps he pared them too like Lady Boyle. But they were terribly long and pointed nails. So long and cruel they were though the white fattish hands were not cruel but gentle. And though he trembled with cold and fright to think of the cruel long nails and of the high whistling sound of the cane and of the chill you felt at the end of your shirt when you undressed yourself yet he felt a feeling of queer quiet pleasure inside him to think of the white fattish hands, clean and strong and gentle.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. p. 38.

The description of these hands transforms through the passage, as cruel but then later distinguished as gentle.

Portrait

“There remained no trace of the tram itself nor of the trammen nor of the horses: nor did he and she appear vividly. The verses told only of the night and the balmy breeze and the maiden lustre of the moon. Some undefined sorrow was hidden in the hearts of the protagonists as they stood in silence beneath the leafless trees…having hidden his book, he went into his mother’s bedroom and gazed at his face for a long time in the mirror of her dressing table.”

Joyce, James, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Dover, 1994. 49.

Stephen tries to recreate the scene with Ellen, but cannot evoke an image of himself: he sees himself as a “protagonist,” –a character– which is fitting since he is writing a poem and technically the protagonist. But since he has struggled with the writing process and cannot picture himself, it suggests he may see himself as a protagonist in his own life, that is, an unidentifiable being. There is some sort of dissociative break with the self as he struggles through adolescence. Hence the long staring at himself in the mirror, perhaps to reassure himself of a rooted, singular identity. Begs the question, why?

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“He still tried to think what was the right answer. Was it right to kiss his mother or wrong to kiss his mother? What did that mean, to kiss? You put your face up like that to say goodnight and then his mother put her face down. That was to kiss. His mother put her lips on his cheek; her lips were soft and they wetted his cheek; and they made a tiny little noise: kiss. Why did people do that with their two faces?”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 11

A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man

“No, said Heron, Dedalus is a model youth. He doesn’t smoke and he doesn’t go to bazaars and he doesn’t flirt and he doesn’t damn anything or damn all.”

Stephen is described as a “model youth” despite his actions and how he truly feels inside. In reality, Stephen is sensitive, dissatisfied, and a bit confused.

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

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“All the people. Welcome home, Stephen! Noises of welcome. His mother kissed him. Was that right? His father was a marshall now: higher than a magistrate. Welcome home, Stephen!” (16)

This passage stood out to me as when Stephen comes home from school the first time two things he references are things kids made fun of him for previously, kissing his mom and his father not being a magistrate.

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

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Stephen Deadalus
Class of Elements
Clongowes Wood College
Sallins
County Kildare
Ireland
Europe
The World
The Universe …

What was after the Universe? Nothing. But was there anything round the universe to show where it stopped before the nothing place began? It could not be a wall but there could be a thin thin line all round everything. It was very big to think about everything and everywhere. Only God could do that…When would he be like the fellows in Poetry and Rhetoric? … That was very far away. First came vacation and then the next term and then vacation again and then again another term and then again the vacation. It was like a train going in and out of tunnels and that was like the noise of the boys eating in the refectory when you opened and closed the flaps of the ears. Term, vacation; tunnel, out; noise, stop. How far away it was!”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 8-9

Limitations of Stephen’s consciousness, self-awareness, awareness of the vastness of both place and time.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“How far away they were! There was cold sunlight outside the window. He wondered if he would die. You could die just the same on a sunny day. He might die before his mother came. Then he would have a dead mass in the chapel like the way the fellows had told him it was when Little had died. All the fellows would be at the mass, dressed in black, all with sad faces.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 19

Stephen is so young yet so lonely that he almost seems like he is dreaming of dying and hoping for it. He wants the attention that dying brings.

James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

He saw the sea of waves, long dark waves rising and falling under the moonless night.  A tiny light twinkled at the pierhead where the ship was entering: and he saw a multitude of people gathered by the waters’ edge to see the ship that was enter the harbour.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 22

The darkness he sees is representative of the darkness he sees in his mind from time to time and that he feels within himself.  He often relies on others to help him find the truth, as the ship relies on the light to help it find the harbor.

The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“But, O, the road there between the trees was dark! You would be lost in the dark. It made him afraid to think of how it was.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 14

One of the earliest examples of the delay of referent due to the fact that ‘it’ is never clarified.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“And he remembered the day when he and Eileen had stood looking into the hotel grounds watching the waiters running up a trail of bunting on the flagstaff and the fox terrier running to and fro on the sunny lawn, and how, all of a sudden, she had broken out into a peel of laughter and had run down the sloping curve of the path.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 58

Joyce uses delayed specification to reference in introducing this Eileen character going into great detail how he felt about her only to mention how the main character wanted to hold her but didn’t, and then never mentions her again.  Then when he is back at school his rival teases him about a girl then Joyce doesn’t even bother to give “her” a name and continues to mention “her” in various other scenes.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“It was cruel and unfair to make him kneel in the middle of the class then: and Father Arnall had told them both that they might return to their places without making any difference between them. He listened to Father Arnall’s low and gentle voice as he corrected the themes. Perhaps he was sorry now and wanted to be decent. But it was cruel and unfair. The prefect of studies was a priest but that was cruel and unfair. And his whitegrey face and the nocoloured eyes behind the steelrimmed spectacles were cruel looking because he had steadied the hand first with his firm soft fingers and that was to hit it better and louder.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 43.

This is the first time Stephen’s opinion of the church and priesthood in general began to reflect his father’s almost. He seems conflicted because of his high thoughts of priests and the church, and yet he was cruelly and wrongly punished by a priest himself. And then Father Arnall was being decent to the other students?

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“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.

Heart Of Darkness

“Near the same tree two more bundles of acute angles sat with their legs drawn up. One, with his chin propped on his knees, stared at nothing, in an intolerable and appalling manner: his brother phantom rested its forehead, as if overcome with a great weariness; and all about others were scattered in every pose of contorted collapse, as in some picture of a massacre or a pestilence. While I stood horror-struck, one of these creatures rose to his hands and knees, and went off on all-fours towards the river to drink”

Marlow is fearful of the Africans. He personifies the black Africans as creatures and phantoms. He does not regard them as real human beings with significance and value.

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002).

 

Heart of Darkness

Second paragraph pg 109 “I got my appointment… being had not been touched after he fell” – Heart of Darkness

This paragraph depicts the death of a company Captain named Fresleven. He felt he was wronged in a transaction involving the Chief of the village. The way in which the passage is described is jarring. The captain went to defend a sense of self, beat an old man and was murdered by the mans son. That quest for self respect, in hindsight, seemed futile. It also marks the killing of a leader by the bloodline of a leader

Heart of Darkness

“His mouth was as dry as a cinder, and his face was wet with perspiration-and tears. What was it all about? He thought it must be a horrible illusion; he thought he was dreaming; he thought he was going mad! After a while he collected his senses. What did they quarrel about? That sugar! How absurd!”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002) 21.

Heart of Darkness

“Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of the waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances.”

Conrad describes the environment on the boat in such a dark yet beautiful way it almost makes it seem like a world devoid of happiness, but a good one nonetheless.

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002)

Heart of Darkness

“The idleness of a passenger, my isolation amongst all these men with whom I had no point of contact, the oily and languid sea, the uniform somberness of the coast, seemed to keep my away from the truth of things, within the toil of a mournful and senseless delusion. The voice of the surf heard now and then was a positive pleasure, like the speech of a brother. It was something natural, that had its reason, that had a meaning.”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002)

The isolation of being on the sea creating a delusion over reality? In spite of it all, the ocean waves still offered a sense of calmness.

The Heart of Darkness

“I saw him extend his short flipper of an arm for a gesture that took in the forest, the creek, the mud, the river — seemed to beckon with a dishonouring flourish before the sunlit face of the land a treacherous appeal to the lurking death, to the hidden evil, to the profound darkness of its heart.”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002), 134.

Beautiful imagery about something not so beautiful.  When I first read this sentence it stood out to me because of the use of language.

Heart of Darkness

“Try to be civil, Marlow,” growled a voice, and I knew there was at least one listener awake besides myself (137).

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002), 137.

Function of the external narrative? The significance of the framing and the relationship between the main plot and the outer frame?

The Heart of Darkness

“The old doctor felt my pulse, evidently thinking of something else the while. “Good, good for there,” he mumbled, and then with a certain eagerness asked me whether I would let him measure my head. Rather surprised, I said Yes, when he produced a thing like calipers and got the dimensions back and front and every way, talking notes carefully. He was an unshaven little man in a threadbare coat like a gaberdine, with his feet in slippers, and I thought him a harmless fool. “I always ask leave, in the interests of science, to measure the crania of those going out there,” he said. “And when they come back too?” I asked. “Oh, I never see them, ” he remarked; “and, moreover, the changes take place inside, you know.” He smiled, as if at some quiet joke. “So you are going out there. Famous. Interesting too.” He gave me a searching glance and made another note. “Ever any madness in your family?” he asked, in a matter-of-fact tone. I felt very annoyed. “Is that question in the interests of science too?” “It would be,” he said, without taking notice of my irritation, “interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals, on the spot, but…”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002), 112

This passage speaks volumes for the rest of the story, it reveals a foreshadowing of events to come.  You can even say it foreshadows the very ending itself, with the passage, “”Oh, I never see them, ” he remarked; “and, moreover, the changes take place inside, you know.” makes me think of when Marlow goes crazy in the very end, the changes that happened on the inside, the line with “interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals” foreshadows how we get to watch as readers how Marlow changes on the spot.   Also in the notes section it mentions cranial studies and how the size of ones head measures their “capacity for civilization,” I believe this is meant to imply that because of the shape of the natives heads, they don’t have the “capacity for civilization.”