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by James Joyce

Ulysses Religion 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 #7

A bargeman with a hat of dirty straw seated amidships, smoking and staring at a branch of poplar above him. It was idyllic: and Father Conmee reflected on the providence of the Creator who had made turf to be in bogs where men might dig it out and bring it to town and hamlet to make fires in the houses of poor people. (10.32)

Here is a bit of Father Conmee's thoughts from "Wandering Rocks." His thoughts are always extremely pious and simple. Do you find these thoughts an accurate portrayal of the way a priest might think? Do they seem to be parodying religious thought? If parody, is it over-done or do you think that it still makes a point about the ways in which strictly orthodox thought is confined?

Quote #8

When, lo, there came about them all a great brightness and they beheld the chariot wherein He stood ascend to heaven. And they beheld Him in the chariot, clothed upon in the glory of the brightness, having raiment as of the sun, fair as the moon and terrible that for awe they durst not look upon Him. And there came a voice out of heaven, calling: Elijah! Elijah! And he answered with a main cry: Abba! Adonai! And they beheld Him even Him, ben Bloom Elijah, amid clouds of angels ascend to the glory of the brightness at an angle of fortyfive degrees over Donohoe's in Little Green Street like a shot off a shovel. (12.561)

This is the final image from "Cyclops." As Martin Cunningham's carriage pulls away with Bloom and the citizen yelling at one another, the episode takes on biblical language and portrays Bloom as the prophet Elijah ascending up to heaven. Does the religious language seem parodic or sincere or both? How is it possible for something to be a parody and to still communicate some sort of truth?

Quote #9

He said also how at the end of the second month a human soul was infused and how in all our holy mother foldeth ever souls for God's greater glory whereas that earthly mother which was but a dam to bring forth beastly should die by canon for so saith he that holdeth the fisherman's seal. (14.19)

Stephen is rambling drunkenly in "Oxen of the Sun." He's here spouting off about the Church's teachings on when exactly the soul enters the body. What we're particularly interested in here, though, is how the style alters the affect of the religious words. Try re-writing these lines in plain modern English. Does one seem more legitimate or profound than the other? Tie this into particular details of the style and see if you can figure out where the difference in effect originates.

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