Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

The Stream-of-Consciousness Technique and Style in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" College

The best style is that in which the form and the content, the manner and the matter are well-balanced and supportive of each other. The style of “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” was so novel that it drew the attention of readers and critics alike when it was first published in 1914. Yet in spite of its novelty, Joyce’s subject, and the manner in which he expressed it, are fused together in one, inextricable whole. The subject of the novel IS its manner or style, and it is crucial to avoid regarding them as separate entities. It is also true that the language emerges out of the character of Stephen Dedalus, for Joyce’s major innovation in this novel is the modulation of styles throughout, using a different style in each section to underline each stage of the development of the character, and using a less mature language to match Stephen’s expression in his boyhood days. The stream-of-consciousness technique is a direct manifestation of Joyce’s general disposition towards imitation, onomatopoeia, and parody. This technique is used for the first time in English in “A Portrait of the Artist”, using a method which had already been popularized in France by Proust, and is therefore an entirely new approach to writing in...

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