Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Portrait of the Artist (Chapter 2)

Explain how particular passages in chapter 2 make use of the motifs and develop the themes first introduced in chapter 1. (Don't just identify the motifs and themes in the passages but discuss how they are significant.)

How does all of it relate to Stephen's development as an individual (bildungsroman) and artist (kunstlerroman) within a particular environment?

&, if you dare, explain how all of this is related to Stephen Dedalus' name; Stephen, the Christian martyr, and Dedalus, the artificer and father of Icarus.

Finally, go back and look at a particular passage. Analyze how the style is similar to or different from the style used elsewhere. How is the style significant?


Francesco P said...

The further that I read of Stephens perception, that more I observe the Kustlerroman development. His world is very distinctly his own, Joyce delineates this through Stephens dreams and nightmares, his physical visualizations of what he imagines or remembers (carving Faetus in the desk) and his keen awareness of his senses. In an environment without the mentality of sinning, Stephen would likely thrive further as an artist by affirming his own desires and perceptions, rather than having to reject them as notions of sin and pride. It’s precisely this oppressive religious environment, though, which most intensely defines for us, with superior lucidity, how he can come to realize his own internal nature; by acknowledging that which he inherently rejects(priesthood) .

Katina T said...

In chapter 1, I wasn't sure if Stephen actually liked being alone. His discomfort possibly led me into thinking that he disliked it. In chapter 2 however, it is clear that he begins to embrace his loneliness. At a family party (pg. 59), “But when he had sun…joy of his loneliness.” He is agitated by the other children. As Stephen progresses in his development, he becomes more isolated from his surroundings…including his father. His father is constantly talking about the past, which bores Stephen.

Chapter 2 has some major foreshadowing. Stephen’s isolation for his father shows that he will not become an Irish patriot, yet his confusion with how to deal with his sexuality/hormones shows that he is already starting to move away from being a religious priest. If he is going to choose neither of those, the several mentioned poems through out the chapter definitely show how Stephen is already subconsciously developing into an artist.

Megan Keegan said...

Stephen is confused about what exactly he wants to be in life. He can’t decide if he should surround himself with others or be alone. On page 56, Stephen voices this when he says “The noise of children at play annoyed him and their silly voices made him feel, even more keenly than he had felt at Clongowes, that he was different from others. He did not want to play. He wanted to meet in the real world the unsubstantial image which his soul so constantly beheld. He did not know where to seek it or how but a premonition which lead him on told him that this image would, without any overt act of his, encounter him.” Even when he is surrounded by children, Stephen feels as though he is different. He doesn’t want to be around people that don’t have the same thoughts as he does. Stephen has a yearning for an identity that is significant in the world. Further on in the passage he says, “Weakness and timidity and inexperience would fall from him in that magic moment.” The “magic moment” refers to when he finds his identity. Stephen feels that when he finds himself, he will no longer be weak, timid and inexperienced but instead a strong individual. Later in chapter two, these thoughts return to him. Stephen says “He had not gone one step nearer the lives he had sought to approach nor bridged the restless shame and rancour that had divided him…” Stephen feels as though he hasn’t done what he wanted to do in life and for this he feels like a failure. He reflects upon the sins that he has committed and questions his motives. This passage is written in a tone that makes the reader want to talk to Stephen and tell him that everything will fall into place. He is extremely hard on himself about things that he can’t change and he doesn’t see the big picture of his life. Stephen is thoroughly confused about who he is as an individual.

Meredith S said...

In Chapter One, Stephen attempts to determine his place in the universe by making a list of locations that lead back to him. He does this again in Chapter Two when he is walking with his father in Cork. He finds himself mentally drained because he feels weighed down by sin, even though he hasn't actually done anything sinful yet. "By his monotonous way of life he seemed to have put himself beyond the limits of reality." (page 81). Stating his name and location to himself is how he attempts to reconnect himself with reality after his thoughts about sin throws him into a different state of mind and causes him to feel trapped. He says to himself, "I am Stephen Dedalus. I am walking with my father whose name is Simon Dedalus. We are in Cork, in Ireland. Cork is a city. Our room is in the Victoria Hotel. Victoria and Stephen and Simon. Simon and Stephen and Victoria. Names." His fixation with names here reminds me of his confusion about God being called different names in different languages, but maintaining the same meaning. We find out later that Stephen enjoys the rhythm of language. His list-making might be an early indication of this.

Nick B said...

I felt that Chapter Two foreshadowed ill relations between Stephen and his father. At the end of Chapter One there is quite a bit of ambiguity over how exactly he feels about his dad. His dad is supposedly above a magistrate, but when Nasty Roche ridicules Stephen (pg. 6) for his dad not being a magistrate, Stephen doesn’t counter with his superior information. Also the controversy at the family dinner doesn’t indicate whether Stephen has any inclination towards agreeing with any of the presented sides (this is explicitly demonstrated when he talks about wishing that he knew something about politics), or even if either side is more right. Stephen’s father is therefore a much talked about character, who plays a decently big role in Chapter One, but it is very superficial and leaves many discrepancies.
Chapter Two shows how pathetic Stephen’s father really is. He’s missing, to quote Springsteen, his “Glory Days”. According to Johnny Cashman, “your father… his day,” Mr. Dedalus really did have some serious glory days, but the fact that his nostalgia is true just makes the loss all the more bitter. We see that his dad is broke, out of work, puts on a falsely rich front, and can’t bring himself to see the present day. I thought that this boded badly for Stephen’s family, his relations with his dad, and his development.
Reading the comments on the blog I saw another good foreshadowing point that I hadn’t caught on to before. Katina said that the foreshadowing refers to Stephen’s unlikelihood of becoming an Irish Patriot later on. I think that that is actually pretty key. Independence, freedom, and religion were all big issues in Ireland at the time, and therefore Stephen will have to deal with them personally at some point. His dislike / disgust at his dad’s fall from grace may push him away from the dead Parnell’s side in the matter.

Sabrina said...

Chapter one introduces the theme of water, tides, and rising and falling. Leading to chapter two, Stephen find himself thinking about where he'll go in the future. On page 86, "He saw clearly, too, his own future isolation," Stephan can see himself disconnecting from people. He has tried to build some kind of order against what he really is to make him self feel rounded.

"He had tried to build a breakwater of order and elegance against the sordid tide of life without him and do damn up, by the rules of conduct and active interest and new filial relations, the powerful recurrence of the tide within him. Useless. From without as from within the water had flowed over his barriers; their tides began once more to jostle fiercely above the crumbled mole." In this quotation, also on page 86, you can see that Stephen is trying to "build a tide" against his true self. Through his attempts, the water is still affecting him and he still feels "taken under by the tide," in other words, he is trying to find himself but since everyone is trying to change him to what he is "supposed to be," he lashes out.