A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chapter 4

“Not to fall was too hard, too hard; and he felt the silent lapse of his soul, as it would be at some instant to come, falling, falling, but not yet fallen, still unfallen, but about to fall.┬áHe crossed the bridge over the stream of the Tolka and turned his eyes coldly for an instant towards the faded blue shrine of the Blessed Virgin which stood fowl-wise on a pole in the middle of a ham-shaped encampment of poor cottages.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008)

Stephen turns his eye coldly at the sight of the Virgin Mary shrine. This moment signifies a vast change in his previous religious beliefs.

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