S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.14 (1985) (인문논총)
A Portait of the Artist as a Young Man에서의 물 이미지
The Water Imagery in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young man
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문과학연구소
- 인문논총, Vol.14, pp. 71-89
- The first section of A Portrait is a mosaic of various symbols, images, and motifs which are to play important roles in the subsequent development of the major themes of the novel. Significantly, the water image appears in the section, and indeed, it recurs throughout the novel whenever Stephen undergoes a critical experience in his growth. Water signifies life in its totality, that is, life with its multitudinousness and squalor, its passion and agony, and its strangeness and mystery. But of course, Stephen does not comprehend such complicated implication of water at the beginning. Water seems to him at first merely as something squalid and unpleasant, then as something related to sensuality, and then as something vast, irresistably powerful, and inexhaustibly rich in potentiality. This progressive apprehension of diverse aspects of water reveals, in fact, his progressive comprehension of the meaning of life.
A similar process is also discernible in his changing attitudes to water. He is at first repulsed by it, then idealizes it, and finally accepts it as it is, with its antithetical qualities. This dialectical process also reflects his spiritual development.