A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“A glow of desire kindled again his soul and fired and fulfilled all his body. Conscious of his desire she was waking from odorous sleep, the temptress of his villanelle. Her eyes, dark and with a look of languor, were opening to his eyes. Her nakedness yielded to him, radiant, warm, odorous, and lavishlimbed, enfolded him like a shining cloud, enfolded him like water with a liquid life: and like a cloud of vapour or like waters circumfluent in space the liquid letters of speech, symbols of the element of mystery, flowed forth over his brain.” (187-188)

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

The imagery and comparisons are dominating ┬áthis quotation. Stephen seems to be describing a feeling of love and lust by saying the words desire, temptress, warm, and radiant all together. This feeling of “mystery” lingers with him as he thinks about this experience.

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. ┬áThen 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.