Joyce thought that the artist ought to be invisible in his works, in the sense that he must not express his own viewpoint. He should instead try express the thoughts and experiences of other men. He advocated the total objectivity of the artist and his independence from all moral, religious or political pressures, since he had to be outside all conventions, all normal society. Indeed the artist must be outside society in order to be objective.
Like other writers of the time he was deeply interested in all aspects of modern culture, including Freud's psychoanalysis, and in the experimentation that was affecting all fields of art (like for example Picasso in painting)
Like other writer, he found himself involvedin the controversy concerning the two most influential currents of the time, realism and symbolism, which had meanwhile, developed into other side-currents such as naturalism on one side and futurism, impressionism and surrealism on the other. Joyce always refused to e classified in either movement, since realism and symbolism often combined in his work. As a result of his interest in experimentation, he created a new kind of dream language, a mixture of existing words, inventive word combinations, and non-existent words, to provide a dense multi-layered prose that can be read on endless levels of significance. Syntax is disordered, punctuation non-existent, in the immense river of words.
In his use of the "stream of consciousness" technique and, in particular, on the interior monologue Joyce availed himself of a variety of devices, such as lack of punctuation, puns, onomatopoeic words, etc, and of a variety of styles ranging from dialogue to interior monologues and unspoken soliloquies. Developing and perfecting the technique that an 18th century novelist, Sterne had already experimented with, Joyce was able to penetrate into the consciousness of his characters and express their thoughts and feelings through a method of his characters and express their thoughts and feelings through a method of which the passage given below for study and analysis provides a specimen.
The original meaning of the term "epiphany" is the showing of the Christ child to the Magi: but Joyce adopts this expression to signify a sudden revelation, the moment in a novel or story when a sudden spiritual awakening is experienced, in which all the petty details, thoughts, gestures, objects, feelings, etc, come together to produce a new sudden awareness. In other words, there is an epiphany when details, or "moments", buried for years in one's memory, suddenly surface in one's mind and start a long often painful mental labour.
The title of the novel reveals the author's intention. J. wants to draw a portrait (that is, one of the many possible subjective methods of creation, based on the subtlety of painting) of the artist (not an ordinary character) as a young man (that is, during the period of an individual's intellectual and physical development). Thus the very title specifies that the novel is not strictly autobiographical but openly a Bildungsroman (like Lawrence's Sons and Lovers). A Portrait is autobiographical in so far as the writer uses the facts of his own life as essential narrative material for a broader fictional pattern. But Stephen is not Joyce indeed Joyce is independent of Stephen whit whom he deals not without irony.
On a narrative level we find a double focus which is achieved through the use of a detached third person narrator who, nevertheless, presents the story as perceived through Stephen's eyes and thoughts. At a suitable distance from his subject, J takes a stance situated within his subject, limiting his disclosures to what the boy notices ad what affects him. At the same time, this does not imply the existence of an authorial voice who guides, instructs and informs the reader. Indeed J thought that (conception of an artist). In order to render fully a character's thought, J also recurs to the "interior monologue" or "direct quotation of the mind", a technique which enables him to register the vagaries of mental process. (interior monologue)
a recurrent patterning of mythical images flows through the book. It increased in strength along with the physical and spiritual growth of the protagonist, when the youth starts asking himself the implication of his unusual name, Stephen Dedalus, later associating it whit the legendary Daedalus. Stephan was the first Christian martyr who was stoned to death for preaching the new religion and perhaps Joyce-Stephen thinks of himself as a victim of incomprehension in his own land. Daedalus instead was the master craftsman of classical mythology who was able to escape the confines of the labyrinth by creating two wax wings. (Dedalus-Joyce decides to leave Ireland, his prison island, on the "wings" of art). Stephen makes specific references to this myth, quoting his namesake, who is likewise frequently recalled by Joyce through the use of recurring images of birds, flight and water.