Stephan’s Brave New World: A Deconstructive Reading on James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Ruzbeh Babaee, Iraj Montashery


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1914) is considered to be one of the major examples of the genre bildungsroman (the novel of the artist). This study concerns the search of the protagonist, Stephen Dedalus, for identity and meaning, which encompass a time period from his infancy to his late adolescence. In quest of identity and meaning, Stephen breaks from two totalities- nationalism and Catholic Church- that rule over his life. The present study reads the novel within a deconstructive perspective.  Stephen like Nietzsche wants to talk about “the death of god” to pave the way for his exploration of meaning and identity. He tends to rebel and go beyond what Lyotard calls “the grand narrative”.

Key words: Deconstruction; Metanarrative; Nationalism; Catholic Church; Simulation


Deconstruction; Metanarrative; Nationalism; Catholic Church; Simulation



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