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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Last week before finals

I've been very busy. I'm working on two papers and I hope to finish one of them today. I've been reading Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and then some essays about it. I found it a bit troubling that Stephen could have an oedipal complex. It seems to make sense, though. He fantasizes about Ellen, Eileen and even about girls he sees on the street. He's like a depraved soul looking for love. He hardly knows his father and he only mentions his father in the beginning. Towards the end, like Oedipus, he flees. Oedipus flees from Thebes and his life in the palace. Stephen flees from politics, from the church, from what his mother expects of him. He won't go to Easter communion, no matter what. He says he's afraid of the bread-not itself but what it stands for. He doesn't want to be a priest to a religion that enslaves and condemns. He thinks it's like being a prisoner. Like the mythical figure Daedalus, he can "fly" away from his prison. He has found his freedom at the end.

I think it's a great book now that I've reflected on it and read it all. At first, it didn't make much sense, but as I read on it started to get more interesting and more intricate. I felt like I could relate to Stephen. I could relate to his feeling of wanting to escape and wanting freedom to be who he wants to be and live how he wants to live.