Losing Religion in Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist
A argument for the loss of religion in an effort to find the true self in Joyce’s protagonist, Stephen Dedalus.
This essay depicts Joyce’s rejection of religious dogmas in favor of self discovery. It provides much literal supporting evidence for its claim that the main character, Stephen Dedalus must lose his religious shackles in order to truly find himself as a person.
In his A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce continually and actively seeks to chronicle his protagonist’s struggle to discover the truth of life, and his rebellion from politics and religion. It is his struggle to emancipate his mind from the ingrained religious ideals of Catholicism that stifles and frustrates Stephen Dedalus in his quest to forge in his soul his own uncreated conscience. Joyce attempts to argue for the artist’s quest for existential truth through many different literary devices; the most important of these being the limited omniscience of the narrator.