It’s a semi-autobiographical novel, “semi” because we have only his youth, only one part of his entire life, but it isn’t also single because there are different points of view, we haven’t got only one truth and so for this reason the indefinite article “a” is important because this is only one of the possible interpretation of the subject. The plot is quite simple. He used a pseudonym that is Stephen Dedalus. Stephen is the first martyr of the Catholic Church, while Dedalus is the symbol of the escape, it refers to the Dedalus’ myth who managed to escape from the Crete prison, that is a labyrinth.
When the protagonist was young he was under the chains of the family and he is forced to go to Jesuit schools; just like Joyce and when he grew up he became a rebel who wanted to escape from Ireland because it was an extremely conservative society thanks to the Catholic Church. In this novel we can find 3 important transformations of the principal character: the first is a passage from a shy boy to a bright student; the second is a passage from youth to adulthood, so from the innocence to corruption and it happened with his first sexual intercourse with a prostitute; the third is a passage to an unrepentant sinner to a devout Catholic; finally the last transformation is from a religious fanatic to a formed artist devoted to Aestheticism.
We can find the impersonality of the author and the use of stream of consciousness that is a psychic phenomenon, that describe at the same time the continuous flow of thoughts, memories, sensation and feelings and also the continuous flux of a river