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Quotes

Quote #4

"A nation?" says Bloom. "A nation is the same people living in the same place." (12.403)

Is Bloom's definition true? Here, he is countering the citizen's intensive nationalism. To what extent is his simple definition meant to simply calm down the patriotic fervor of the men around him?

Quote #5

"- What is your nation if I may ask," says the citizen.

"- Ireland," says Bloom. "I was born here. Ireland."

The citizen said nothing only cleared the spit out of his gullet and, gob, he spat a Red bank oyster out of him right in the corner. (12.408 – 410)

Is one's nation always determined by the place where one is born? Imagine the case of an African slave born in the United States. Does that make the U.S. their nation? What more do you think the citizen wants from Bloom's definition? Is there anything you yourself would add to it?

Quote #6

By no exterior splendour is the prosperity of a nation more efficaciously asserted than by the measure of how far forward may have progressed the tribute of its solicitude for that proliferent continuance. (14.3)

These lines come from the start of "Oxen of the Sun." They are extremely convoluted because they are written in the style of English translations of old Latinate prose, but when we untangle them we find that the narrator is talking about the fact that part of a nation's strength can be found in the extent to which it respects procreation. What does it mean to treat a mother as a national figure? What national duty is she performing? Does anything seem morally wrong about treating mothers like Mina Purefoy as national heroes?

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