Themes are the ideas present within the literary work. Literary themes in A Portrait of an Artist as a
Young Man
, are religion, nationalism, discovery of an artist, sin, innocence, etc.

Literary analysis of themes in A Portrait of An Artist as a Young man

Here are some of the literary themes in A Portrait of an Artist as a Young man:


At the start of the novel, as per observation, the presence of religion in his home, in the first part of Christmas dinner. Dante emphasizes on the superiority of the Church, while his uncle and father opposed that. As he was growing up, there was different voice from inside that was teaching him to do this or that. After attending the
three day retreat, he found himself guilty of his wrongdoings and made a confession. The director later offers him to become a priest. Rather, Stephen finds a priest life boring and moved away from the religion.


The theme of nationalism can also be seen from the start when there is a debate in his home about Parnell. When he comes up with the conclusion they Irish are always like obedient to English and we allow others to control us. Due to this effect of his Irish nationality and surrounding situation, he wanted to be out of Ireland to get rid of the shackles of his heritage. He also decided to have his own Irish nationality by writing in a different style.


The theme of innocence can be witnessed in many places in the novel. When Stephen is moving from childhood to the adult life, the preaching of Christianity is present in his mind greatly. The emotions of guilt, doubt, sin and virtue comes over him from time to time. When Stephen heard the stories from his father, he gets aware of some new feelings that took away his innocence. His encounter with the intimacy also had an effect on his innocence when he got confused with his inner changes and ends up being with the prostitute.

The literary themes in A Portrait of an artist as a young man emphasizes on some major subjects which are collectively developing the story.

If you want us explain some other parts from this novel, then comment below.

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