School Bullies: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“–0, I say, here’s a fellow who says he doesn’t kiss his mother before he goes to bed.

They all laughed again. Stephen tried to laugh with the He felt his whole body hot and confused in a moment. What was the right answer to the question? He had given two and sill Wells laughed. But Wells must know the right answer for he was in third of grammar” (Joyce 11).

-Stephen struggles to understand the peer dynamics between younger and slightly older boys, insisting there must be a correct answer to the question Wells poses, even though it is a joke meant to poke fun.

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Oxford University Press, 2000.