“A vague dissatisfaction grew up within him as he looked on the quays and on the river and on the lowering skies and yet he continued to wander up and down day after day as if he really sought someone that eluded him.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Pg. 55)
Stephen is beginning to grow into a young man, and with that growth it is leading him to discover more about his expanding feelings about life and his relationship with other people. As Stephen is growing he has become more of an observer, rather than just escaping into his own imagination. The scene above describes him taking in, with restless wonder, the streets of his new home. I thought it intriguing how he still resides to find meaning in his imagination. Here Stephen imagines what it would be like to really be searching for someone of his affection. One that could reciprocate his new found feelings of desire and want. He urges him forward, even with his growing discontent with his new feelings.