Sample Essay

James Joyce in his novel ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ depicts the life of a young artist who is caught in the dilemma of identity crises and attempts to get free from the nets of society, family and religion to discover his identity. The novel is about the new birth of the protagonist, Stephen, who fails to adjust in the Catholic dominated Irish society and thus questions the traditional conventions and dogmas while at the end of his quest he comes to realize the entangling web of society, family and religion as posing a threat to his creativity and individuality, with this realization he denounces conventions and faith and departs not only from home but also from his native land. The protagonist represents the common dilemma of 20th century man (Harkness, 1989).

In Samuel Beckett’s play ‘Endgame’ the characters are found trapped in the room that symbolizes their entrapment in the world which is similar to Stephan’s entrapment in the Irish and Catholic society. The characters in the play; Hamm, Nag and Nell; are dependent upon each other for survival unlike Stephen who, despite his search for individuality, is not dependent upon someone else in his life.

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