From his early childhood, when he is sent to a Jesuit boarding school, Stephen Dedalus is aware that he does not belong. He discovers that reality can be sordid and cruel. Experience leads to conflict, frustration and disillusionment - with love and sex, with home and family, with religion, academicism and finally even with Ireland itself. His only refuge is in an imaginative world inspired by literature. In a bid to realise his potential genius, Stephen pays a high price and severs all ties with the things that threaten his creativity. A landmark in twentieth-century literature, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a deeply ironic and powerfully emotive novel, which explores a variety of themes and events that parallel Joyce's own experiences.