© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by James Joyce

Myles Crawford

Character Analysis

Myles Crawford is the editor of the Freeman's Journal. Almost as soon as he appears in the back office to joke with the men, we learn that he is something of a drunk and already has booze on his breath by noon.

Crawford is comfortable in his position of authority, and doesn't hesitate to boss other men around the office. Bloom gets particularly short shift, and we repeatedly see Crawford disrespect him in the chapter. In contrast, almost as soon as Stephen enters, Crawford begins fawning over him and asks him to write something for the paper.

Crawford is big on appealing to the past as a time superior to the present, most noticeably when he begins praising the work of his former journalist Ignatius Gallaher. Other men in the room contradict him, and though Dedalus does not do so explicitly, it is clear that the past and the present bear a much different relation to the young man than they do the older editor. Whereas for Crawford, the past is something to lord over the present, for Stephen the past and the present are two things that need to be reconciled. The present is not inferior to the past, but it can only be fully realized through a struggle with the past. Crawford's own ideas on the matter do not appear to be as developed.

In the novel, Crawford, as editor of the newspaper, is equated with "Aeolus," the god of the winds. The rush of a day at the newspaper, the swirling headlines and patched together articles, are compared to random and powerful winds. In the Odyssey, when Odysseus's men open the bag of winds given to him by Aeolus, Aeolus refuses to help him rejecting that he has been cursed by the gods. Similarly, though Crawford is initially somewhat supportive of Bloom's effort to renew Keyes's advertisement, he cuts him at the end of the episode.

Myles Crawford Timeline