All of us

Martin Cunningham's first words in Hades, "Are we all here now?," seem utterly unremarkable on first encounter, but as the chapter goes on a couple of kinds of significance emerge, quite opposite in intent. Funerals were inclusive spectacles in Ireland at this time, conducted very much in public view and involving many people. But some people were left out. Women were expected not to attend, and as a Jew Bloom is made to feel incompletely welcome. When the men in the carriage allude to being in debt to Jewish moneylenders Cunningham says, "We have all been there," and then, looking at Bloom, he corrects himself: "Well, nearly all of us."

John Hunt 2018

Funeral procession of Fenian activist Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa on Rutland (Parnell) Square East in 1915, in a photograph held in the National Library of Ireland. Source: