The sixteen year old schoolboy, James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, entered the University College in St. Stephen’s Green Dublin, in September 1898. Prior to entering the university, when in the Jesuit schools of Clongowes Wood and Belvedere, he had been a devout Catholic, and was an exceptionally bright and very popular boy. However, gradually over his four years in the University, he changed radically and philosophically, discontinuing his Catholic practices and came to the belief that his education was exclusively his own responsibility.
In his publication A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, he neatly summarised his new lifestyle:
“I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use — silence, exile, and cunning.”