Stephen Dedalus, a poor boy in Ireland at the end of the 19th century, gives up everything, his family, social ties, and his church, to devote his life to his passion - writing.
The novel goes through the boy's life as a student in a very strict, Catholic boarding school in Ireland, and how that upbringing shaped his childhood and family, including an intense, politically charged argument over the Christmas dinner table. The listener follows Stephen through his preteen and teenage years, growing more poor as the years go on, switching schools, and moving more than once.
The novel takes the listener through significant experiences that Stephen has. The listener is with him when he has his first intimate experience and when he discovers his passion for using the art of writing in creative ways. A beautiful girl on the beach will spark a flame in Stephen to realize that love and desire should not be something to shame someone over, like he has been taught through the church. He goes on a self-fulfilling journey to cut all of his religious affiliations from his life. He is on a quest to know his own person, even though it means leaving everything else far behind.
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McCallion mispronounces "Daedalus," the protagonist's family name (de-DA-lus rather than DE-da-lus). I tried but it became so annoying I gave up and purchased another version. When something so basic is wrong, you have to wonder what else is not right.
- Ethical Science