Importance Of Images In James Joyce's A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

1293 Words 5 Pages
An image is something that brings the senses closer to trueness, trueness being the awareness of all senses. An image can invoke all senses at a moment, associating it to previous understanding to an individual. In James Joyce’s A Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man, we see a firsthand account of how the ‘stream of consciousness’ was born in the literary world. There are sensations that occur when we tap into an already current sense that is being tested, be it a touch of paper then bringing the smell of a freshly cut tree, a work of a chef bringing out a small entre and yet the smell brings the mind a chocolate tart. Reading a book such as Joyce’s can invoke emotions left and right, bringing bright spaces or dark shadows, behind the veil …show more content…
What is read blends in with various senses,
“To mortify his smell was more difficult as he found in himself no instinctive repugnance to bad odours, whether they were the odours of the outdoor world such as those of dung and tar or the odours of his own person among which he had made many curious comparisons and experiments. He found in the end that the only odour against which his sense of smell revolted was a certain stale fishy stink like that of longstanding urine: and whenever it was possible he subjected himself to this unpleasant odour. To mortify the taste he practiced strict habits at table…” (131)
The strength and the repetitive use of “odour” make the reader bring insight to this phenomenon and how it relates to reality. The words connected to this word bring an emphasis to the picture, to sense the “repugnance” of the outside of internal allow one to see an aura of this surrounding them. There is a sense of desecration, of abuse. Throughout this whole novel there is a push and pull with the role of Catholicism. The first instance of Hell brings a threating stench of rotting flesh, awhile odors of the world around us be it “dung and tar” make us sense an unwanted state to be in, an environment we want to pick up and leave from. In another example of how smell plays an important part of James Joyce’s work is written in one of his short stories, it is
…show more content…
This connection of sense ties in with Religion in a subtle way, Joyce challenges the view of the world he once belonged to, to make one sense ‘Hell’ before they even deserved to think about such atrocities, and he makes a rebuttal that makes one question his views. In James Joyce’s Dubliners and story called “Araby” touches this topic of sense and religion, all too closely where he writes, “The former tenant of our house, a priest. Had died in the back drawing room. Air, musty from having been long enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless papers.” (19) We see Joyce mention a priest who had passed and left an odor long after. The “Air, musty having long enclosed” makes it seem like he was left alone to his own dealings where no one would find him, a man alone with his thoughts. The air “hung in all the rooms” as if a ghost was lingering around, giving the essence of loss among a ‘littered’ place. This passage is one that has long ‘lingered’ in my mind when thinking of gothic literature, and it touches base with how A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man brought religion

Related Documents