Seabury Hall Senior english's Journal|
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|Friday, March 9th, 2007|
What I find interesting is how Stephen is the only truly open minded individual in the story. He is confused by the incredible amount of xenophobia and anti- protestantism in his family and school. He also seems the least judgemental, as exhibited by his choice in the womenfolk and in his ultimate denial of the Catholic faith. What seem like a duality is in actuality a full acceptance of all people. He is mostly confused by his family's inability to understand the other side (the Protestants) and his friend's inability to truly accept him without him conforming to them— making him hide his thoughts and true beliefs. What I find interesting too, is that he seems to be very enlightened in that he admits and acknowledges things that others try to hide— an example being when he is paddled by his teacher and forces the dean to see that his teacher is kind of sadistic. He thinks about more than popular belief and takes more into consideration than what first meets the eye.
Stephen's fanatic religious beliefs in his youth seem to be an obsessive way of coping with instability within his country and deep guilt for his sins. The external confict of a divided homeland and arguing within his homelife concerning the division does not seem to bode well with his character, for he lives in a constant state of anxiety, fear, and guilt. He follows a strict praying regimen, goes to church with his family, and also goes to a Catholic school where he is under constant scrutiny, being incessantly pounded with sermons and religion.
What I found interesting is that though he practices so strongly, especially after confessing his prostitute sins to the preist, he seems soulless and cold. The strict practicing seems to kill him and empty him of his mind and liveliness, for through repentence he does not find or cleanse his soul, but ignores it, deeming it unholy. What I find even more interesting, however, is his (sort of) breaking free of the strict regimen, and finding the feeling of universal love that had eluded him for so long. While he continues his self abusing habits, he still has the little spark of spirituality he found, which later leads to his ultimate metanoia, where he finds his true soul.
Stephen's ideas of beauty perhaps lead to an explanation on the incredible duality of the women he likes. He is first attracted to prostitutes, yet he covets the virgin Mary and women who hold similar attributes to her. Both types of women are incredibly diefied, however, and he assumes much of them, since they are so mysterious to him.
In chapter five, he gets into a discussion about what is beautiful, and denounces that beauty is merely good health so we can continue to propogate the species, saying that it involves "eugenics rather than... esthetic[s] (226)." He says instead that beauty is something that "coincide[s] with the stages themselves of all esthetic apprehension. These relations of the sensible, visible to you through one form and to me through another, must be therefore the necessary qualities of beauty (227)." This explains to me how he can admire such a vast expansion of a duality between women because it seems that the beauty he finds in these women are the same, for some reason, whether prostitute or prude.
|Monday, March 5th, 2007|
make-up pgs. 26-61
This portion of the texts develops the foundation of the motif of religion that is so dominant in the life of Stephen Dedaelus. This reading establishes the idea carried throughout Irish and catholic culture that humans are innately bad and that the true mission and challenge in life is to fight against mortal inclinations. We see the birth of these themes and their importance throughout the novel within these 40 pages. It is also the first place we see the conflict between formalized religion and spiritual conviction during the bickering at the dinner table. It addresses certain symbolism that reinforces the importance of the sanctity of the religion (i.e. reverence for sacred places).
The reading builds upon Stephens identity as a young man and demonstrates how he must conquer hurdles of subordination throughout his journey. The description of his experience in school shows the extent to which his reality was shaped by the boundaries of religion, for every notion of humility, obedience, and submission was instilled through the preaching and forced teaching that he was raised with. It becomes clear that Stephen follows such regimen by inspiration of fear and inferiority. Current Mood: busy
|Sunday, March 4th, 2007|
Stephen speaking to Emma in person and the way that he realizes how much of a pedastool that he has placed her on for so long is somewhat of a wakeup call for him. he begins to see that he made her almost God-like by keeping her so pure and innocent in his mind. He believed what he wanted to believe about who she was, and when he actually saw what she was like all of his thoughts about her were shattered. Although he thought one way about Emma for so long, Stephen did not seemd to phased by his discovery. Stephen simply made comments about how Emma was not like he thought.
On a wider context, every woman that Stephen has a "relationship" with in the novel is not really part of a real relationship with him. Emma, although she is real, his thoughts about her throughout the novel are simply part of his imagining about what she is like. The Virgin Mary is not a real figure in his life at all, and yet Stephen still feels as though he must obey her and fear her in a sense. Lastly is the prostitutes. While these are the first women that Stephen actually has a physical relationship with, the entire thing is purely sexual. Stephen never truly experiences a relationship with any of the women mentioned in the story. Current Mood: quixotic
|Friday, March 2nd, 2007|
Last reading journal
In the narrower context of this reading Stephen talks to Emma in person for real, and for the first time. By doing this Stephen sees the reality and he realizes how women are not on a pedestool to him and he no longer looks at them as if they are. Stephen gains the confidence to do what he will and he sees that it is up to him to become the artist he wants to become.
In the wider context of the reading, Stephen makes the decision to leave Dublin, ultimately the greatest decision of his life. By leaving Dublin he will be freed from his past; the troubles of his family, religion, and education can no longer affect him or create roadblocks on his path to becoming the artist he must. His life is on a whole new echelon as he no longer will be tempted by the same carnal desires he previously had of prostitutes and Emma. Current Mood: curious
|Tuesday, February 27th, 2007|
pgs 25-61, group 2, journal 1
This section of reading carries with it great meaning and importance in establishing two very important changes in the scenery of the plot. As we see Stephen come home for the Christmas holiday, he is, for the first time allowed to sit at the adults table. This is a milestone for Stephen, symbolizing his move into adulthood. It is ironic however, that upon joining the adults, Stephen realizes just how unhappy adulthood really is, based on the argument his fellow adults are having.
Also in this reading, the political status and concern for it is fully introduced to the family, but also mainly to Stephen. Being that this is Stephen's first as an adult, the ensuing political argument displays to him the destructive force that can be carried with political opinion and insight.
It is also ironic that Stephen's first Christmas dinner home from school, which he had looked forward to so much, was actually quite unpleasant and uncomfortable.
group 3 journal 3
In the ending of the book, Stephen is becoming an individual, and no longer wants to obey authority such as his mother. His mother wants him to go to Easter service at Church but he refuses. He says that he no longer feels the same way that he had before about his religion. He also tells Crany that he may have to drop out of school in order to follow his ambition of being an artist. This is a perfect example of him spreading out, and not following others. Although he may have to leave his friends, he accepts it because he knows that in order for him to do what he loves, he must be an individual, and follow his own path. The last part of the chapter has journal entries of Stephen and show the first time he met Emma. It also has a prayer to his father and calls him "Old Artificer".
James Joyce- group 1
In this new chapter of his book, Joyce apparently is consumed with guilt; the church has a great deal to do with this. He is incapacitated and wracked with guilt. His teenage angst and exploration of his sexuality has led to him feeling like his “ soul within was a living mass of corruption.” ( 148)Teenage years are supposed to be years of youthful exuberance, the years before the responsibilities of adulthood truly settle upon the being. But, for Dedalus, there is no fun time. He is either thinking remorsefully about his sinning or sinning. Hell is his most frequent thought. He is sure he will get there, and I’m sure if he thinks about it enough he will. His obsession with goodness must have caused him not to be happy in his life- for never once is there mention of anyone other than himself. He has become a narcissistic, self belittling little snake. Religion is playing upon him like a harp. He is fully under the control of the powers that be. The Priest has the most respect, and is the confidant to all of Dedalus’ secrets. While he dines with his own father, and follows Uncle Charlie through the city in earlier chapters, they do not command nearly the same amount of respect that the Priest exacts simply by being the standard of purity. All Dedalus wants is to be a good man and make it to heaven. In the meanwhile, he is not living. It is the shell of an abstinent life, and there seems to me to be a slight undertow of despair.
Another interesting observation is his view on women- they are seen as mere playthings for Lucifer. They have no souls themselves; the best thing he can do is to steer clear of them. A little chauvininst, or just ignorant, for a confused 16 year old to state.
I felt a sigh of contentment course through my body as I slammed this book shut after finishing it. Not much can be gleaned from this book, a general feeling of guilt can be deduced, and this feeling continues throughout the book and becomes more pronounced. At the end, however, there is perhaps a tiny amount of knowledge gleaned from this sorry man. He recognizes a kindred soul in the man with whom he is ending friendship. He knows naught whether the man talks about himself or he. Thus, while the period of enlightenment is not actually seen in this amalgam-of-stories-semi-cobbled-together-a
nd ridiculously-called –a-novel, it is hinted at. This hinting gives us the first true insight into the book. While this man seems to be pious beyond belief at times, and other times opulent to excess, each of us has a Stephan Dedalus in us, though obscured by sanity and consciousness. Think on yourself, have you ever experienced guilt, simple unatonable guilt? While the source may not be from sleeping with too many prostitutes, the general malaise of guilt may hang around unwanted for any reason. It hung around Cranly, he himself was wrapped up in it. Religion is a catalyst for guilty feelings. Thus, these turn of the century Irish lads who are in the midst of civil unrest and are trying to find themselves in so many ways are prime candidates for guilt-ridden lives. Their upbringing has raised them to be depressed and second-guessing their every move. These people are the sheep, and if you have sheep with such low self-esteem, it is much easier to manipulate them. This was life until religion ceased to be the place where morals were learned.
Stephen is isolated within his community, yet at the same time, he is not. His ideological views set him apart from his family, friends and country. They push him away from being close or apart of these social things. However, at the same time, he strives to still be apart of them. His parents push him away, saying that university life has made him a lazy bitch, however Stephen does not push back. His friends, and lovers also push him away, but he is always contemplating as to how he can become close or even apart of them once again. His want of being apart of something greater, seems to be what inspires him poetically. Stephen also has problems romantically, just like his erotic dream, he has issues bringing his relationships any reality. His relationship with the prostitutes was emotionally nonexistant. Also with Emma, she never gets to understand or see Stephens emotional attachment to her. Basically Stephen, at his prime age of university life, is incapable of having any sort of positive relationship whatsoever. This may suggest that he draws upon his poetry through his lack of true life emotions.
After Stephen thinks he had judged the girl harshly he returns home to sleep. During his sleep he has an erotic dream of the girl and awakens to wirte a poem on his encounter. He feels inspired by this encounter and shows what women are protrayed as in the novel. The women he has are not for serious relationships but are an object to Stephen. This dread leads to the thought of Emma and how his affection to her has remianed the same. He invisions her and the last time he wrote poems about her over ten years ago. The next section begins with Stephen sitting on the front steps of the Library. While sitting he see's birds flying over him and thinks of how man kind has always tried to fly. He leaves with Cranly and Temple who get into and arguement. Stephens mind is exploring new aspects of life he had not thought of and is brought back to memories of his past that he still lives with.
|Monday, February 26th, 2007|
journal pages 230-250
The erotic dream that stephen has is very symbolic of all women in the story. His relationship with her is not real, she was only a dream. Just like the relationship with the prostitues was inexistant, and his relationship with virgin mary isnt real because she is merely in his mind. It is also like the relationship he had with emma because it inspired him again to write some poetry. However, if we were to look at this event through a feminist criticisim lense, i beilve that one could argue that the majority of the time woman are simply sexual objects for stephen. Later on in the section, stephen countines his imagenary relationship with emma by envisioning her walking home. His mother is another femal role within the story, However their relationship is different then the rest of his female relationships because it is more concret and based on reality. Current Mood: sleepy
pgs 230-250, group 2, journal 3
Stephen continues to display his thriving interest in philosophy by analyzing his life as well as the lives of others around him. Constantly pursruiong argumetns with his friends and his own psychosis has him frequently analyzing his actions as well as the actions of others. In this reading, we agian find that Stephen is hung on his thoughts for the girl he met at a birthday party, Emma, who he has still not been able to forget about. Thinking about her arouses him and he continues to feel sexual urges as well as have erotic dreams, making what he though were just simple thoughs about her into such strong feelings as desire and jealousy.
Stephen is growing in two directions: he is growing as a thinker, constantly grabbing the attention of his professors adn even at one point is asked to become a member of the priesthood, and also he is growing physically into a young man who is beginning to establish his feelings as being more than simple reactions, but rather that they are important indications that he is moving away from the psychosomatic person that he wants to be.
|Sunday, February 25th, 2007|
group 3 (journal 2)
In chapter four we see the drastic change within Stephen. He no longer has the same outlook on life, because now he is very religious. He wakes every morning and prays and even reads religious books to keep himself on the right path. We then find out that the director of the curch wants Stephen to join the community and become a high figure in the church by saying it is a very high honor to have. As the reader, we see this as both a positive and a negitive by keeping him on a constructive route, but also by limiting his social values. These new ways of life for Stephen may not be the way he thought it may have, and may cause him to change his mind later on in life or even in the near future. This decision is crutial for him to decide what kind of a person he is, and as the reader, we now that this is a challenging process for Stephen.
In the narrow context of this reading Stephen temporarily finds ways to keep himself busy. Stephen in the more recent parts of the book begins to feel like a pig. Stephen has become infatuated with prostitutes and as a resuld he feels dirty, adding to the way he eats alot to make himself feel greasy and gnarly. Stephen goes to make a confession and soon after enforces strict rules and a whole new religious mind set; he disciplines himself to the utmost extent. Stephen is a new person with his transformation and his focus is now on his religion.
In the wider context of this reading the reader can see clearly how Stephen's attempt to focus mainly on his new discipline on religion is surpressed as he is always reminded of his reality. When some young boys see Stephen and call him by the greek version of his name, Daedelus, he is reminded of the greek legend who had built wings for himself and his son to fly out of prison. This is a great comparison to his own situation as he imagines building himself a set of wings and flying away from his troubled family who is being forced to move again. Current Mood: naughty
|Wednesday, February 21st, 2007|
In Chapter two of "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," Stephen does not want to deal with all the changes in his life anymore and decides to get away from them by getting lost in the world of "The Count of Monte Cristo." While in the beginning of the story, Stephen sees himself like the character in the book his father reads him, he now enjoys to see himself as the adventurous and heroic count of monte cristo. He also likes to relate to the count because as the count is after Mercedes, he is growing into his own sexuality and is trying to pursue E.C. He finds romance in these novels by basing his poem to E.C. off of Lord Byron and even friendship by imitating scenes with Aubrey Mills. This all shows that Stephens world is not only changing, but also Stephen himself and his inner feelings. The books help him deal with the changes and he finds characters that are dealing with the same issues in wich he can find comfort. Even so, Stephen is still confused by love. He is not sure whether he really wants romance or if he just wants to pursue a girl. Current Mood: good
Stephen still worries about his actions with the prostitute and while he was barely ever punished in his life, he begins to punish himself. His fasts and even isolation from quick glances has started to make him become a bit closer to his religion and had made him focus more on that. The director of his school tells him that he thinks he could join the order and that God is calling on him and this is very special. Before while I thought Stephen had only tried to repent because thats what he was taught, I know am believing in the fact that yes he was taught that, but he also strongly believes in it for himself. He says he can see him self in the order, but gets nervous about it. I think this is because as much as he might like to join, he knows that he as yet to repent for sleeping with the prostitute and also feels bad because in a way, he does not want to join because he knows that he would have a very isolated life. All of this also makes him think more about women but not so much about the Virgin Mary. Although he knows he should not be thinking about girls and especially not want to do anything with them, but after having sex once, I think he now realizes his sexual appetite and wants to fulfill it; something that h is Virgin MAry can not quite do. In a way, I think that Stephen is never fully satisfied and is trying things and believing certain things in his mind to try and fuflfill whatver he believes is empty. Even when he goes off to the university he is not happy with it and has yet to find the one thing that makes him fell like he is doing something with his life. Current Mood: sleepy
Group 2, Journal 2, thru page 158
In this section of reading, we find that Stephen has been genuinely filled with a new found fear of eternal damnation. Being sixteen, and already having had sexual intercourse with several prostitutes, Stephen is especially horrified as Father Arnall gives a quite heated and descriptive sermon about the many torments of Hell. Knowing that his soul is destined for Hell, Stephen becomes quite frightened and even has a nightmare in which he is being closed in on by six ghoulish figures in a field of manure and weeds. Stephen becomes aware of the fact that although the physical pleasures he has taken part of were enjoyable, there can be quite sever repercussions that are not in any way taken lightly by the people of his time. Feeling an urge to cleanse himself of his sins, Stephen goes to the nearest chapel in which he plans to confess. I would take this time to note that it is very ironic that he must stand in line to confess, ie there are sinners in excess. After confessing however he returns to his dorm feeling clean of sins, and continues on the next day to take part in communion. Although Stephen's actions would not really have any true repercussions, he is scared into the thought of going to hell by an increasingly strong handed denomination of religion which has got a firm hand on the teachings and understandings which its students enter the world with.
Journal Pg 126-159
This reading illuminates the wide context of the state of Catholic Ireleand during the time of this novel. It displays the extent to which the lives of the Irish are shaped by the Catholic faith. The religious retreat that Stephen goes on reveals the means by which the religion is taught to the people as children in a way that would convince them through fear to believe. The rector's speech articulates the nature of catholic views of death, heaven, hell, sin, and morality. It becomes eveident through his speech that the virtues and benefits of moral character and ingrained into the minds of the people from childhood. The pages that extrapolate on the 3 flod sting of conscience, the value of obedience, and fear of hell and damnation allow the reader to understand the correlation between Stephen's upbringing and his emotional state regarding his sexual encounter.
Stephen's affiliation with the Catholic church has obviously shaped his moral state and emotional thought process. He has developed and dwelled on the fear of the consequences of his sins for he has been taught to believe that without God he will forever be forsaken and doomed to hell. The moment at which he chooses not to pray andrepent for his wrong doings displays how his relationship with God and feelings about the Catholic church are more forced than inspired and that although he holds a consciousness of his sins, he lacks the passion and/or conviction to take the weight of them to heart. He is aware that he has sinned and that he needs to repent however seems to not ruly be afflicted by the consequences nor inspired by the priciples of the religion and thus feels more compelled to confess his sins in the close of the reading than inspired to be clean or to be pure. The confession is more of an obligation, and his gulit seems as though it has been forced iunto him rather than it being genuinly produced from his inner inclination.