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by James Joyce

Ulysses Freedom and Confinement Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph), except for the "Circe" episode, which is (Chapter.Line) and the "Penelope" episode, which is (Chapter.Page). We used the Vintage International edition published in 1990.

Quote #1

"Yes, of course," [Mulligan] said, as they went on again. "Either you believe or you don't, isn't it? Personally I couldn't stomach that idea of a personal God. You don't stand for that, I suppose?"

"You behold in me," Stephen said with grim displeasure, "a horrible example of free thought." (1.294-295)

What is Haines misunderstanding here? Stephen also has trouble stomaching the idea of a personal God, but what is the difference between his free-thinking and that of Haines and Mulligan? Why does Stephen have so much trouble with the idea of being a free thinker? What personal cares and connections does he have that the other two lack?

Quote #2

"After all, I should think you are able to free yourself. You are your own master, it seems to me.

I am the servant of two masters," Stephen said, "an English and an Italian." (1.299-300)

In "Telemachus," Haines is trying to understand why Stephen feels so oppressed. Here, Stephen refers to English oppression and the Roman Catholic Church (the "Italian" masters). Both were extremely dominant in Dublin life, but why should a free thinker like Stephen still feel that they are his masters? Educated as he is, couldn't he just break from their influence?

Quote #3

"History," Stephen said, "is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake." (2.158)

What control does one have over one's actions in dreams and nightmares? Why would Irish history seem like a nightmare to Stephen? How, as an individual, might he awaken from the history of his nation?

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