Essay Stephen Dedalus and the Irish Nationalist Cause

Stephen Dedalus and the Irish Nationalist Cause

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English Essays
An examination of the main character in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The author examines the character’s loyalties to Catholicism and Irish nationalism.

An examination of the main character in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The author examines the character’s loyalties to Catholicism and Irish nationalism.
“The character of Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is forged in the twin fires of Catholicism and Irish nationalism but he nonetheless manages to elude the dogma of both. Church and politics are, in some respects, paradoxically intertwined in Stephen’s childhood experience and he struggles to separate them and simultaneously separate himself from them. While he declines the priesthood and refuses the sacraments, it is arguable that Stephen remains a Catholic at some inner level. However, his antipathy toward politics in general and the nationalist cause in particular, can be traced throughout the novel as it becomes progressively more pronounced and caustic.”

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