“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. He 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.