“What was after the universe? Nothing. But was there anything around the universe to show where it stopped before the nothing place began? It could not be a wall but there could be a thin thin line there all round everything. It was very big to think about everything and everywhere.” (12)
“In a vague way he understood that his father was in trouble and that this was the reason why he himself had not been sent back to Clongowes. For some time he had felt the slight change in his house; and those changes in what he had deemed unchangeable were so many slight shocks to his boyish conception of the world.” (70)
Stephen’s growth in the way he views the world and society begins to shift as he ages. This is proving to be a coming-of-age novel among many other themes. We can see at an early age he thinks differently than many of the boys he goes to school with. And we especially see this emerge when his teacher calls him out for heresy in his paper, and again when he stands up to Heron about who is the best poet.
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Random House, New York, 1928.