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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

In a vague way he understood that his father was in trouble and that this was the reason why he himself had not been sent back to Clongowes. For some time he had felt the slight change in his house; and those changes in what he had deemed unchangeable were so many slight shocks to his boyish conception of the world. (2.1.11)

For the first time, home is a shaky concept. The family recently moved to Blackrock, and Stephen can tell that more changes are on their way.

Quote #2

The sudden flight from the comfort and revery of Blackrock, the passage through the gloomy foggy city, the thought of the bare cheerless house in which they were now to live made his heart heavy, and again an intuition, a foreknowledge of the future came to him. He understood also why the servants had often whispered together in the hall and why his father had often stood on the hearthrug with his back to the fire, talking loudly to uncle Charles who urged him to sit down and eat his dinner. (2.2.2)

Home continues to de-stabilize at an alarming rate. Stephen’s growing comprehension of the world around him allows him to understand that the change in the family’s surroundings has to do with his father’s failures. This moment is also notable because of the family’s move to Dublin.

Quote #3

He saw clearly too his own futile isolation. He had not gone one step nearer the lives he had sought to approach nor bridged the restless shame and rancour that had divided him from mother and brother and sister. He felt that he was hardly of the one blood with them but stood to them rather in the mystical kinship of fosterage, fosterchild and fosterbrother. (2.5.7)

Stephen feels so remote from his family that it seems as though they’re not related – could this feeling of isolation have anything to do with the fact that he internalizes all of his thoughts and feelings and never shares them with anyone at this stage?!

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