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'A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man' Questions for Study and Discussion

James Joyce's First Novel

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Study Guide A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was the first novel by James Joyce. Here are a few questions for study and discussion.
  • What is important about the title? Is there a reference in the novel that explains the title?

  • How does this book compare with the other works of James Joyce? How does it compare with other coming-of-age stories?

  • What are the conflicts in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional)?

  • How does James Joyce reveal character in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man?

  • What are some themes in the story? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • What are some symbols in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • Is Stephen consistent in his actions? Is he a fully developed character?

  • Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters persons you would want to meet?

  • What is the central/primary purpose of the story? Is the purpose important or meaningful?

  • How essential is the setting to the novel? Could the story have taken place anywhere else?

  • What is the role of family and community in this novel? What about religion? Education?

  • Does the story end the way you expected? How? Why?

  • Would you recommend this novel to a friend?

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