by James Joyce
Ulysses Patriotism 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.
My beloved subjects, a new era is about to dawn. I, Bloom, tell you verily it is even now at hand. Yea, on the word of a Bloom, ye shall ere long enter into the golden city which is to be, the new Bloomusalem in the Nova Hibernia of the future. (15.315)
These lines come from Bloom's vain fantasy outside of Bella Cohen's brothel where he imagines himself as an emperor and the people gather to worship him. Here, Bloom's pride as a Jewish man is turned into his imaginary call for a nation named after himself. Nationalism often gets talked about as if it were a form of selflessness. How can excessive patriotism mask the pride and selfishness that lies beneath it?
"You die for your country, suppose." (He places his arm on Private Carr's sleeve.) "Not that I wish it for you. But I say: Let my country die for me. Up to the present, it has done so. I don't want to die. Damn death. Long live life!" (15.975)
These are Stephen's words to Private Carr at the end of "Circe," shortly before he gets socked in the face. At first glance, they seem selfish, but things are much more complex. How do these lines continue to build a picture of Stephen's pride in Ireland? What are the differences between Carr's nationalism and Stephen's (if he has any)? Is the desire to perfect oneself itself a sign of pride in one's place of birth?
"- That's right," the old tarpaulin corroborated. "The Irish catholic peasant. He's the backbone of our empire. You know Jem Mullins?"
"While allowing him his individual opinions, as every man," the keeper added "he cared nothing for any empire, ours or his, and considered no Irishman worthy of his salt that served it. Then they began to have a few irascible words, when it waxed hotter, both, needless to say, appealing to the listeners who followed the passage of arms with interest so long as they didn't indulge in recriminations and come to blows." (16.190-191)
At this scene in "Eumaeus," an old man and the keeper of the bar (who looks like Skin-the-Goat from the Phoenix Park murders) get in a big argument about the strength of the Irish peasant and which armies he should serve. Why is it that men who believe strongly in nationalism have to enforce their views on the people around them? How does the intentionally bored and cliché voice in this episode undermine their opinions?