The engines of this valley have a whistle, the echoes of which sound like iterated gasps and sobs. I always think of them as crude music from the soul of Avey. We sat there holding hands. Our palms were soft and warm against each other. (60)
I just thought this passage was interesting because it describes something so modern, an engine, that has a particular crude, and possibly unsophisticated, sound of something like the “Cotton Song” (13).
“Where was his boyhood now? Where was the soul that had hung back from her destiny, to brood alone upon the shame of her wounds and in her house of squalor and subterfuge to queen it in faded cerements and wreaths that withered at the touch? Or where was he?” (144)
I think that it is very interesting that Stephen attributes female characteristics to his soul, calling it at various times a ‘she.’ In this passage, there is an allusion to her power, a ‘queen,’ but that power has gone away and become ‘faded.’ This may refer to him growing out of childhood and the permanent condition of his soul in an impure state as an adult.
“But, O, the road there between the trees was dark! You would be lost in the dark. It made him afraid to think of how it was.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 14
One of the earliest examples of the delay of referent due to the fact that ‘it’ is never clarified.