Mercedes is a character from Alexandre Dumas' novel, The Count of Monte Cristo.
As the betrothed of Edmond Dantes, she is the embodiment of pure love and pure womanhood, although when Dantes is imprisoned she quickly marries another.
Compare and contrast Stephen with some of the other boys and young men with whom he associates.
Independent Novel Study: Analysis of The Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man The theme of James Joyce's The Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man that is most important is the development of the consciousness of Stephen.
The word epiphany does not actually appear in A Portrait, but Joyce does use it in Stephen Hero, the draft on which A Portrait was based: "By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation. At one point, when sixteen-year-old Stephen is feeling guilty about his visits to the brothels, he elevates Emma to an almost goddess-like status, imagining himself appealing in remorse to her.
The young Stephen is also fascinated by another female figure who can live only in his imagination, and that is the fictional character Mercedes.He would fade into something impalpable and then be transfigured.Although he never meets anyone in the real world who can accomplish all this for him, his first sexual experience, with a prostitute, gives him a taste of the surrender and loss of self that he had fantasized about: "He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her, body and mind, conscious of nothing in the world but the dark pressure of her softly parting lips" (p. But instead of transfiguration, all this experience produces for him is overpowering guilt.The passages at the very beginning of the novel recreate Stephen's early childhood in a sequence of memories and perceptions.Are these passages effective in recreating the thoughts and feelings of a very young boy? How does Stephen's aesthetic theory relate to the doctrine of Christianity or the behavior of hedonism? How does the setting of the novel affect the characters and the plot?Joyce distances himself, and therefore the reader, from his protagonist.This is an alternative explanation for the fact that Stephen does not come across as particularly likeable.He shows this within his diary, "26 April: I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.27 April: Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead (252)." Joyce's central purpose in writing The Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man is most likely to reveal his own self through the ch...He overcomes the limitations of his culture and environment, and soars into a higher realm.Other critics, while accepting that it was Joyce's intention to present a heroic Stephen, have censured Stephen because he comes across as a bit of a prig and tends to isolate himself from everything around him-not admirable qualities.