Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Song of the People College

Song had always been an aspect of life and literature. Dating back to the first epics of Homer, music has been understood as an important achievement. Since then, song has not only become a plot point in some stories, for example the tale of Orpheus in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, but also the medium through which those stories were told. For centuries, music has been evolving through introductions of new instruments or new voices and in turn, song has impacted the people and cultures in a dramatic way. Over time, it has turned into a force that narrates and dictates social status and relationships. This power can be seen in the way the motif of song changes from one great literary work to another. Music in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man exposes the gaps in social classes, while in Toni Morrison’s Paradise it is used as a social catalyst. This motif exemplifies the change of the century in terms of ideology as it moved from modernism to post-modernism.

Song is a very important aspect of culture, especially in the twentieth century where it arguably saw the most change with the introduction of numerous new genres of music. However, the early 1900s were very limited in this regard. Not only were there a few...

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