In Fragment A all the descriptive details of the Stephen Hero account have been eliminated; the result is an increase of emotional intensity in the portrayal of his mother's grief and in Stephen's embittered reply. Diffuse personal arguments have been retired in favour of a single intense passage. But even this concentrated presentation seemed too personal, too much a figure of his own revolt, to be retained by Joyce in the Portrait.
Fragments A and B reveal the characteristics of Joyce's technique at the time when he began Ulysses. The compression demanded by his theory of 'epiphany' and the aloof tone resulting from his notion of 'stasis' are everywhere evident. Already apparent are the allusiveness and symbolic 'thickening' (as in the ' Omphalos' figure) that give his later works a dense texture comparable to that of poetry. The flow of Doherty's words through Stephen's mind has the quality of the 'interior monologue' in Ulysses, and the treatment of time found in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake can be discovered in these fragments. Both of the scenes involving Doherty come to Stephen as memories prompted by his present situation, thus illustrating Joyce's desire to use memory as an agent for investing every moment with the richness of layer upon layer of associated experiences.