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Free Study Guide-A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 1

Summary (continued)

Father Arnall came in and conducted the Latin lesson. He handed back the boysí theme books and said they were "scandalous" and that the boys would have to be written out again with the corrections immediately. He is especially annoyed with Flemingís theme book because the pages are stuck together with a blot of ink. Father Arnall holds the book up by a corner and claims that it is an insult to any master to submit such a theme. He asks Jack Lawton to decline the noun "mare" and Jack stops short before finishing. He shames Jack and asks boy after boy to do the same grammar, but no one knows it. His face is "blacklooking." When he asks Fleming, Fleming says the word has no plural. Father Arnall shuts the book and tells Fleming to kneel in the middle of class and calls him one of the idlest boys heís ever met. He orders the rest of the boys to copy out their Themes.

The class is silent. Stephen sees that Father Arnallís face is a little red from his temper. He wonders if it is a sin for Father Arnall to get in a temper like that or if it was okay since that made the boys study more. Then he wonders if Father Arnall is only faking that he is in a temper. He wonders if a priest could sin since he knows what sin is and would not do it. Then he wonders what happens if a priest does it by mistake one time. Where would he go to confession? They would go to the minister and the minister would go to the rector and the rector to the provincial and the provincial to the general of the Jesuits. He remembers his father talking about the Jesuit order, saying all the men were clever and could have become "highup people" in the world. He wonders what Father Arnall, Paddy Barrett, Mr. McGlade, and Mr. Gleeson would have become. He finds it a difficult line of thought because it made him think of them in different clothes.

The door opens and a whisper runs through the class. It is the prefect of studies. He hears the loud crack of a pandybat on the last desk. The prefect calls out the question to Father Arnall if any of the boys need a flogging. He comes upon Fleming kneeling and exclaims over him. He calls Fleming a born idler and says it is visible in Flemingís eyes. He orders Fleming to stand up and hold out his hand. He hits Flemingís hand six times and then hits his other hand six times and then orders him to kneel down again. Fleming kneels with a pained look. Stephen has heard that Fleming hardens his hands by rubbing rosin into them. Stephenís heart is beating fast. The prefect yells at all the boys to work. He speaks of himself in the third person, promising that Father Dolan will be in every day to check on them.


Suddenly the prefect asks Stephen for his name and why he is not working like the others. Stephen cannot speak for fright. Father Arnall says Stephen is exempted from work for having broken his glasses. He makes Stephen stand up, calling him a "lazy schemer." Stephen looks at "Father Dolanís whitegrey not young face, his baldy white grey head with fluff at the sides of it, the steel rims of his spectacles and his nocoloured eyes looking through the glasses." He orders Stephen to hold out his hand. He hears the priestís garments swish as he lifts his arm and he feels the "hot burning stinging tingling blow." It makes a loud "crack of a broken stick" and Stephenís hand crumbles. His whole body shakes and his hand shakes. He holds back his tears and his cry. The prefect makes him hold out his other hand and he is hit again. He bursts into "a whine of pain" and his body "shakes in a palsy of fright." He feels shame and rage at his tears. The prefect makes him kneel down. Stephen presses his hands to his sides and feels sorry for them as if they were not his own hands.

The prefect orders all the boys to get at their work and promises to be in every day. Father Arnall rises from his seat and walks among the desks helping the boys with gentle words. He tells Fleming and Stephen to return to their seats. Stephen is red with shame. He opens his book and puts his face close to it. He thinks of how unfair it was to have been flogged when the doctor had told him not to read without his glasses. He is indignant for being called a schemer and flogged in front of the class when he always won the card for first or second place in his class and was the leader of the Yorkists. He remembers the touch of the prefectís hand as he steadied his hand before striking it. He had thought at first that Father Dolan was going to shake hands with him. Then he had heard the Fatherís sleeve make a swish sound and had felt the crash.

Stephen thinks it is unfair of Father Arnall to tell him and Fleming to return to their seats making no difference between them. He notices Father Arnall is being gentle now and thinks the priest must feel sorry. Stephen knows that even though Father Dolan was a priest, it was still unfair and cruel. On the way out of the classroom, Fleming says it was a "stinking mean thing" to hit a boy who was not being bad. Nasty Roche asks Stephen if he really broke his glasses by accident. Stephenís heart is full at Flemingís words. Fleming answers Nasty Roche for Stephen saying of course it was an accident. Fleming urges Stephen to go up and tell the rector on Father Dolan. Cecil Thunder agrees, saying that he had seen Father Dolan lift the bat over his shoulder, a practice prohibited. All the boys agree that Stephen should tell the rector. A boy from the second of grammar overhears them and says, "The senate and the Roman people declared that Dedalus had been wrongly punished."

As Stephen sits in the refectory he keeps suffering from the humiliating memory of the flogging. He wishes he had a mirror to look into to see if he does have the face of a schemer as Father Dolan had said. He cannot eat his fish and potato. He resolves to do as the others had urged. He thinks of his history book which contains Richmal Magnallís questions and Peter Parlyís Tales about Greece and Rome. These stories of injustice filled history books. He thinks of his task as easy. All he has to do is go on walking, but toward the staircase after dinner, instead of down the corridor.

At the end of dinner, the boys of the higher line march out of the refectory. Stephen notices Corrigan, who himself will be flogged by Gleason. The infraction of these older boys was the reason the prefect of studies had flogged Stephen. Corrigan did something to be flogged and Mr. Gleason was not going to flog him hard and Stephen remembers how big Corrigan looks in the shower. Stephen is debating whether to go up the stairs. He worries that the rector will side with the prefect of studies and then the prefect would be especially mean in retaliation. He notices that even though the others had urged him to go, they seem to have forgotten about it now. "No, it was best to hide out of the way because when you were small and young you could often escape that way."

His own class passes out of the refectory. He thinks of the humiliation of the prefect asking him his name twice. He wonders if the prefect was making fun of him. All the great men of history had names like that and were never made fun of. Stephen thinks Dolanís name should be made fun of since it was the name of a woman that washed clothes.

At the door, Stephen suddenly decides to go up. He sees that all the other boys are standing and watching him go. He passes all the portraits along the corridors and his eyes are weak and tired, tearing up. He thinks these must be the portraits of the great men of the order saint Ignatius Loyola, saint Francis Xavier, Lorenzo Ricci, the three patrons of holy youth, saint Stanislaus Kostka, saint Aloysius Gonzaga and blessed John Berchmans, all with young faces because they had died young, and Father Peter Kenny.

At the landing above the entrance hall he looks around. He sees itís where the soldiersí slugs are and where the old servants had seen the ghost in the marshalís cloak. Stephen asks a servant where the rectorís office is. Stephen knocks and is bid enter. The rector is at his desk writing. A skull sits on top of his desk. At the rectorís prompting Stephen tells him he broke his glasses. The rector says he must write home for a new pair. Stephen says he has done so and that Father Arnall said he did not have to study in the mean time. The rector agrees with this decision. Stephen then tells him about Father Dolanís punishment. The rector asks him if his name is Dedalus. He asks Stephen where he broke his glasses. Stephen describes the accident. The rector smiles and says it was a mistake on Father Dolanís part, that Father Dolan did not know. Stephen insists that he told Father Dolan. The rector asks if Stephen had informed Father Dolan that he had written home for a new pair. Since Stephen did not, Father Dolan did not understand. Stephen tells the rector of Father Dolanís threat to come in again the next day and hit him again. The rector promises to speak to Father Dolan to prevent it. He shakes Stephenís hand and Stephen leaves the room.

Stephen hurries faster and faster down the corridor and when he gets outside he breaks into a run to reach the third line playground. The boys circle around him asking him for the story. When he tells them, the boys throw their caps into the air and shout "Hurroo!" The hoist Stephen up and carry him along. He gets free of them and they all run in different directions flinging their caps up and calling out "Hurroo!" They gave three groans for Baldyhead Dolan and three cheers for Conmee.

Stephen stands alone, happy and free, as the cheers die away. He decides he will not act proud in front of Father Dolan. He wishes he could do something kind for him to show him his good intentions. The air is soft and grey and smells of evening. The boys are practicing cricket throws on the field "pick, pack, pock, puck like drops of water in a fountain falling softly in the brimming bowl."

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Free Study Guide-A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
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