by James Joyce
Ulysses Prejudice 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.
"I'll wring the neck of any fucking bastard says a word against my bleeding fucking king." (15.1023)
These are Private Carr's words shortly before he socks Stephen in the jaw at the end of "Circe." There are a lot of factors at work here. One is Carr and Stephen's drunkenness. Another factor has to do with Carr's pride over the girl he has picked up, Cissy Caffrey. And still another factor deals with the crowd that has gathered around them and is urging Carr toward action. Why does all of his anger come to gather around nationalism? How is unthinking loyalty to the English king in Ireland an act of prejudice?
"So I, without deviating from plain facts in the least, told him his God, I mean Christ, was a jew too, and all his family, like me, though in reality I'm not. That was one for him. A soft answer turns away wrath. He hadn't a word to say for himself as everyone saw. Am I not right." (16.193)
Here, in "Eumaeus," Bloom recounts his fight with the citizen for Stephen. What do you make of the fact that Bloom proudly tells of how he talked down the citizen's prejudice, but then lies to Stephen and tells him that he is not a Jew? Why might he want to hide the fact that he is a Jew from Stephen?
"-Of course," Mr. Bloom proceeded to stipulate, "you must look at both sides of the question. It is hard to lay down any hard and fast rules as to right and wrong but room for improvement all round there certainly is though every country, they say, our own distressful included, has the government it deserves. But with a little goodwill all round. It's all very fine to boast of mutual superiority but what about mutual equality? I resent violence or intolerance in any shape or form. It never reaches anything or stops anything. A revolution must come on the due instalments plan." (16.196)
Bloom has just finished bragging about his encounter with the citizen in "Eumaeus." He is now preaching to Stephen about the importance of moderation and pacifism. Do the words strike you as true? Is there something about his tone that undermines his words? Is it possible for a statement to be correct but to somehow be false based on how it is delivered?