A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (UK Edition) by James Joyce

By James Joyce

The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin early life and formative years, his quest for id via paintings and his sluggish emancipation from the claims of relatives, faith and eire itself, is usually an indirect self-portrait of the younger James Joyce and a common testomony to the artist's 'eternal imagination'.

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Amerigo wants “to do something or other, before it was too late, for himself” (468). However, when Amerigo formulates his “crisis” a few pages later, his anxiety has already shifted from being a possession to not knowing his own worth as a possession: It was as if he had been some old embossed coin, of a purity of gold no longer used, stamped with glorious arms, mediaeval, wonderful, of which the “worth” in mere modern change, sovereigns and half-crowns, would be great enough, but as to which, since there were finer ways of using it, such taking to pieces was superfluous.

Nothing has happened. 44 The Medieval Presence in Modernist Literature Nothing is happening” (727). During a bridge game, Maggie Verver leaves to go on a “quest” to find Charlotte and continue to torment her by simply acting as though there is nothing the matter. Suddenly, Maggie has an intimation “of the thing hideously behind, behind so much trusted, so much pretended, nobleness, cleverness, tenderness” (892). She thinks of an “opportunity” as “assaulting her . . as a beast might have leapt at her throat,” and then sees Charlotte in the empty drawing room, “out of the cage” (895).

Amerigo abruptly leaves the shop. Eventually, Charlotte gets the shopkeeper to admit indirectly that the bowl has a flaw. But if no one can find it, he says, then it might as well not be a flaw. The Prince peers into the shop from outside “trying to reach with his eyes the comparatively dim interior” (536). Charlotte finally leaves without purchasing the bowl. Outside, Charlotte tells Amerigo that the bowl has a flaw, and Amerigo claims that he left the store because he saw the crack. But this is clearly a lie.

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