Commonplace 2 — Joyce

“What are you laughing at, you little puppy, you? . . . It was his [Stephen’s] first Christmas dinner and he thought of his little brothers and sisters who were waiting in the nursery, as he had often waited, till the pudding came”.

Depicting Stephen as childlike and innocent (his father calling him a “little puppy, Stephen waiting for winter break while in school, his inoffensive and sweet personality, his graduating to the “adult table, etc.), contrasts in a way with the deep and vicious conflicts between members of his family that makes the reader root for Stephen and makes the reader yearn for childhood again.

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Oxford University Press, 2008, pages 23 and 24.