A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Summary

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, the main character, Stephen Dedalus has a life long desire to find a father figure. Not finding it within his own home he is forced to look out among the other men who play intricate roles in his life. Some of the men that Stephen looks to as father figures include; his dad, the dean of his school, the Jesuit priest of the retreat, his friend Cranly, and Daedelus of a Greek mythology. Again and again Stephen is faced with the disappointment of a potential father figure letting him down.

It is not until all others have failed him that he finds a father figure that fulfills his life. Throughout Stephen’s life he and his father grow apart. As a child Stephen adores his father. Stephen remembers the story his father use to tell him about the moocow (1). Stephen’s memory of this story shows he put complete focus into his father whenever his father was around. Stephen’s father seems gentle and benevolent when he puts the sauce on Stephen’s plate after everyone else denies the sauce (19). As Stephen gets older he loses his bond with his father.

Stephen believes his father is in a lot of trouble. Before Stephen’s family moves to Dublin he hears his father tell his uncle that he has enemies and some sort of fight is going to happen (45). This news puts a lot of pressure of Stephen and it makes Stephen pull away from his father. Stephen feels that the information that he learned makes him a part of the fight (45). Stephen’s bonds breaks even more when his father makes fun of him. Stephen’s father talked to the dean from Stephen’s school and learned that Stephen made a huge deal out of getting pandied (50).

When Stephen learns they laughed about it he become very ashamed and he starts to dislike his father (50). As Stephen matures his father means less and less to him. Stephen feels ashamed of his father’s drinking so he tries to avoid the reality of the situation (65). Stephen begins to become ashamed of all of the things his father does (67). Stephen feels his father has failed him in being a role model to him. Stephen’s dad fails Stephen in the role of a father figure. This leads Stephen to look for a father figure outside of his family.

Throughout his life Stephen looks to some of the religious leaders as father figures. Those father figures include the rector of his school and the Jesuit priest from the retreat. The rector of Stephen’s school is looked to as a father figure. Stephen believes his is of good intelligence and is not judgmental. After Stephen is pandied for no reason, Stephen looks to the Rector (36). Stephen believes he has been wronged and is very mad that Father Arnell did not stand up for him (35). Stephen shows great courage when he goes up to the rector’s room to complain about Father Dolan’s pandying.

All of his fellow classmates are cheering him on to talk to the rector (36). At the beginning of Stephen and the rector’s conversation the rector show great care for Stephen. The rector just listens to Stephen and the problem he is having (38). When the rector starts to deny Father Dolan’s mistake Stephen becomes a little frustrated (39). The rector sees this frustration and tells Stephen he will talk to Father Dolan the next day (39). Stephen’s view of the rector as a father figure starts to change after the confrontation.

The Rector really fails Stephen when Stephen learns that the Rector and Father Dolan have been talking about him, especially when he hears they laughed about him (50). Another father figure of Stephen’s fails. Even though the rector fails Stephen he provided some philosophy to Stephen’s life. The Jesuit priest from the retreat also provides a father figure to Stephen for a short period of time. The Jesuit priest puts fear into Stephen. During the three day retreat Stephen is told all of the bad things that sins do in your life (77).

The Jesuit priest makes Stephen long for direction and he hopes he can live a sinless life after the retreat (103). When Stephen tries to live a sin free life he doubts himself that he is not completely redeemed (109). Even though the Jesuit priest scares Stephen into religion he fails Stephen as a father figure. Stephen feels he cannot trust the Jesuit, so he goes to a private church to pray (104). The religious leaders fail Stephen in giving him the father figure he is searching for. Stephen also looks to Cranly, his friend, in college as a father figure.

Cranly gives Stephen advice on life and helps Stephen in choices. Cranly provides Stephen with philosophy in his attempt to be a father figure to Stephen. Stephen really likes Cranly (128). Stephen talks about remembering Cranly by his face and not what the rest of him looks like (128). Stephen looks to Cranly for help about a problem he is having. Stephen’s mom wants him to go to the Easter service, but Stephen does not feel the religious faith he once felt (167). Cranly tells Stephen he should go because a mother’s love is more important than Stephen’s religious doubts (167).

Stephen and Cranly’s acquaintance ends when Stephen says his is going to leave the country to explore his artistic ability (169). Cranly warns him this may be the wrong choice, but Stephen ignores him. Cranly fails Stephen as a father figure. Stephen does not agree with Cranly in the end and that makes Stephen’s idea of Cranly as a father figure disappears. The one person that successfully provides Stephen a father figure is Daedelus from Greek mythology. Daedelus provides Stephen with inspiration to be a better person and to express his artistic ability (124).

Even though Daedelus was not a successful father figure to his son Icarus, Stephen still feels that Daedelus is the prefect father figure. Since Daedelus is just in Stephen’s mind, Stephen is his own father. When Stephen leaves Ireland he become his own role model in that he is Daedelus in his mind and he is not leaving anything important behind (156). Stephen puts a lot of faith into Daedelus. In Stephen’s journal entry on April 27 he calls Daedelus the great creator; which also refers to Stephen being a great creator because Daedelus is in Stephen’s mind (185).

Daedelus is the only man that provides Stephen with a father figure. Daedelus is Stephen’s perfect father in his mind. Stephen’s search for a father figure is throughout A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Even though Stephen takes a long time to find his perfect father figure, he does. Stephen searched his whole life for a father figure and then he realizes he is his own father and he is the only thing he needs. The father figures are a very important idea in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, July 17th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
excellent paper
Customer 452773, March 3rd, 2023
I just need some minor alterations. Thanks.
Customer 452547, February 10th, 2021
English 101
great summery in terms of the time given. it lacks a bit of clarity but otherwise perfect.
Customer 452747, June 9th, 2021
Thank youuuu
Customer 452729, May 30th, 2021
Criminal Justice
This has been the greatest help while I am recovering from an illness. Thank your team so much.
Customer 452671, May 2nd, 2021
Business and administrative studies
always perfect work and always completed early
Customer 452773, February 21st, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Customer 452773, February 23rd, 2023
Criminal Justice
The paper was not accused of plagiarism and was written very well. I will let you know the grade once it is graded. Thank you
Customer 452671, April 26th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Customer 452773, February 23rd, 2023
Impressive writing
Customer 452547, February 6th, 2021
The support team was late responding , my paper was late because the support team didn't respond in a timely manner. The writer of the paper finally got it right but seems there was a problem getting the revisioin to me.
Customer 452773, April 7th, 2024
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp