Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Identify the three major incidents which affect Stephen emotionally in chapter 1.

Which incidents do you think changes him most? Why?

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In the beginning of chapter 1 Stephen is a toddler. One of his neighbours is a little girl named Eileen, and Stephen announces that when he is grown, he will marry her. His announcement infuriates Dante. We learn later that Eileen is Protestant.

That Christmas holiday, Stephen eats at the table with the adults for the first time. The happiness of the occasion is shattered by a bitter argument between Dante on one side and Stephen's father.The fight is emotional and vicious, and ends with Dante storming out of the room. Casey is in tears; Stephen is horrified when he sees his father begin to cry as well.

One day, a larger boy named Wells picks on Stephen and pushes him into a cesspool. Stephen gets a fever from the filthy water, and he fantasizes about how sorry everyone will be when he dies. Stephen, however, earns respect for not ratting on Wells.

We see Stephen and the boys in Latin class, which is headed by the intimidating Father Arnall. The frightening Father Dolan enters, seeking out boys to punish as examples for the rest of the class. Stephen is not doing any work, because his glasses have been broken; when Father Dolan sees him, Stephen explains that his glasses are broken, but Father Dolan accuses him of having broken them on purpose. He paddles Stephen's hands.