There are some works of literature that become instant classics the moment they are written, Portrait of an Artist as a young Man is one of those books. It has been renowned among scholars as one of the modern literary classics and has achieved wide acclaim among scholars and readers alike. Joyce is not undeserving of this attention however, his brilliant writing style and sense of narrative voice are what makes him remain so popular to this day.
It can be observed in Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man that James Joyce changes his narrative voice and style of writing throughout the book. In the first chapter, when Stephen is still very young at Conglowes College, the book is narrated in a stream of consciousness, without well structured paragraphs or a clear purpose to some statements. The sense of time is fractured as well, as events are told only as Stephen remembers them. Joyce's vocabulary is also limited to simple words that a boy of Stephen's age would understand. These Constraints Joyce places on his writing help the reader to get a better understanding of what the protagonist is thinking and to experience events as he sees them.
This childlike writing style does make the book feel more realistic, but it is not what makes it so great in the eyes of scholars. It is the changes that occur in the narrative voice that make this work so interesting. As young Deadelus grows older and more knowledgeable, so too, does Joyce's narration become more complex and intricate. The sentences become longer and more structured, the time is more ordered and progresses logically, rather than a stream of consciousness where entire months are skipped between sentences without so much as a word of warning. Stephen's vocabulary, also seems to grow, as harder words are introduced to the work.
Allusion is another literary mechanic that Joyce uses to enhance the believability of his characters.