Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Artists from Artist’s Perspectives 11th Grade

Artists such as Lily Briscoe from To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf and Stephen Dedalus from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce are equally affected by the ways in which society interprets their art. They embody these two authors' perspectives on what it means to be a true artist. These two characters receive sharply contrasting messages from the society around them, which in turn affects how they view their art and what effect their art will have on the world.

Each artist receives starkly different treatment from society. Stephen is an intellectual and sensitive person, even as a young boy. Although he has multiple siblings, he is the one that his parents send to the expensive Clongowes Wood College. Initially, he is an outcast, but by the end of his education, he has proven himself to be both smart and capable of standing up against injustice. Stephen’s time at Belvedere College further illustrates his intellectual superiority. He earns the reputation of being one of the smartest boys at school and his classmates and teachers respect his intelligence. A consequence of this positive reinforcement is that it gives Stephen confidence to be his own, isolated person and to eventually leave Ireland to...

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