James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Childhood Innocence

“Stephen closed his eyes and held out in the air his trembling hand
with the palm upwards. He felt the prefect of studies touch it for a moment at the fingers to straighten it and then the swish of the sleeve of the soutane as the pandybat was lifted to strike. A hot burning stinging tingling blow like the loud crack of a broken stick made his trembling hand crumple together like a leaf in the fire: and at the sound and the pain scalding tears were driven into his eyes.”

James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ed. Jeri Johnson (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000), 42.

This passage evokes a false sense of security that Stephen encounters with the prefect. Stephen let his trusted his environment by letting his guard down and holding out his palm blindly. Only to greeted by intense pain and loss of innocence.