A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Part 1, Section 3 (pg. 25-39)
The memory of flames that ended the previous section takes us to another fire--that in the fireplace at the Dedalus house on Christmas day. The jump in time is a little unclear, though Stephen is a bit older. The main action happens because the two guests, Mr. Casey and Dante Riordan, have very contrasting political ideas. Stephen's father, Simon Dedalus, has opinions similar to Mr. Casey, and as he digs in to a big slice of turkey, Mr. Dedalus makes a comment of a political nature that irritates Dante. Soon, despite Mrs. Dedalus' pleas that they all keep politics away from the dinner table tonight, the three are into a heated discussion that turns positively ugly. Dante's opinion is that it is fine that priests and bishops involve themselves in worldly matters like collecting taxes and advising the public on issues of politics. Mr. Casey and Mr. Dedalus think that priests need to leave politics alone. Mr. Casey tells a story about how he spit tobacco juice in a woman's eye after she insulted Parnell, the religious reformer that Casey and Mr. Dedalus admire. This anecdote disgusts Dante, and soon Mr. Casey is yelling "No God for Ireland!" Dante storms out the door, Mr. Casey is weeping, and Stephen (whose observations are not very prevalent in this section), "terrorstricken" by the whole scene, sees that his father's eyes are also full of tears.