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Ch 1 - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 
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Post Re: Ch 1 - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Themes and Symbolism

We should keep an eye out for some of the themes that Joyce seems to be establishing in this first chapter. A few that stood out to me in the first chapter:

- Meaning of Names; Stephen Dedalus, God, Dante, even the boys at his school, Nasty Roche (Roach),; Remember that Joyce loves wordplay. I am familiar with Spanish and Dolan sounds similar to the Spanish word for pain, doler. Joyce is probably thinking of Latin.

- The idea of two choices,

- Heaven vs Earth; Stephen remarks on Fleming's drawing of the green Earth and the maroon clouds. He wonders which is the right one of the two. Notice that Dante is frequently associated with these two colors and concepts. This theme also comes up during the argument at Christmas.

- Blindness; Stephen's eyes are frequently referred to as weak and therefore he must wear glasses. His father wears them too and as a child this stood out to Stephen. Stephen comes to understand injustice after his glasses are broken. Also recall Mr. Casey's story during Christmas. Is there a connection to ignorance or knowledge?

-The nature of Death; The field marshall, Parnell; When the talk of death occurs there is frequently reference to the sea. The Field Marshall suffers his wound overseas in Prague. Stephen has the vision of the ship when Parnell is proclaimed dead.

- Politics and Law; The argument again, the boys are referred to as the Roman Senate,

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Foreshadowing

Stephen is told never "to peach on a fellow" at the beginning of the chapter. This idea is mostly focused around Wells and the incident by the ditch. Yet, the chapter concludes with Stephen having reported the misdeeds of Dolan.



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Post Re: Ch 1 - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
:clap2:
I believe!



Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Ch 1 - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
There's also a fascinating passage during Stephen's fever visions.

"How pale the light was at the window! But that was nice. The fire rose and fell on the wall. It was like waves. Someone had put coal on and he heard voices. They were talking. It was the noise of the waves. Or the waves were talking among themselves as they rose and fell."

This is an interesting bit of rhetoric that Joyce employs. Using simile, Joyce equates fire and water. Yet their properties are diametrically opposed. Throughout the chapter, water connotes cold and darkness while fire connotes heat and light. Nevertheless, this chapter implies that fire and water in spite of their obvious differences are akin to each other on another level.

Joyce also plays with personification. It's not quite clear if the people or the waves are the ones talking in reality.



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Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:46 pm
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Post Re: Ch 1 - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Im glad you mentioned the waves simile. Thyat stru :? ck me as interesting too and really let me visualise the shadows swimming on the walls. Great how when he gazes into the fire his mind drifts again in a fever and he sees a dream ship in another dream. I recognise this tendency of the mind to shift into another scene through a brief association. Shadows become waves, waves a sea, then a ship and a drama unfolds. Like my mind wandering this morning as i waited to become fully conscious.


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Post Re: Ch 1 - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Just finished the first chapter. This is my first encounter with Joyce found the writing style and the way Stephen's mind jumped from one subject to another a little disconcerting at first But really started to enjoy the writing style towards the end of the chapter.

As mentioned above I also particularly enjoyed the christmas dinner scene and the family argument surrounding religion and politics

Like Flann 5 I also wondered at Stephen's age in this chapter although in my head he was younger maybe 8ish but in retrospect I think Flann maybe closer to the mark as 12 seems more likely to be the age where he would be having christmas dinner with the adults while his younger siblings do not.

Another thing that struck me was Stephens seemingly inexperience compared to the other fellows but maybe it only seems this way as we get to hear his thoughts and doubts on what is right or wrong.

The other thing that struck me personaly was the mention of Napoleon saying that his frist holy communion was the greatest day of his life it made me think of mine and although I am not a traditionally religious person one of my greatest childhood memories is of my first holy communion.



Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:06 pm
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Post Re: Ch 1 - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Loved the first chapter. Especially when he tries to visualise the Jesuits in ordinary clothes. Sorry but not learned how to cut and paste on the tablet yet


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