Sacred Heart of Jesus

Stephen smashes the lampshade in Circe in response to a nightmarish apparition of his mother urging him to "Repent." This hallucination continues an association between apostasy and familial independence that began in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and grew in Telemachus and Nestor, but Circe adds something new to the toxic brew of maternal and religious guilt: invocation of the "Sacred Heart of Jesus." Stephen's horrified rejection of this popular Irish Catholic devotional practice makes him a kind of anti-Eveline.

John Hunt 2024

Jesus making promises to Margaret Mary Alacoque. Source:

Catholic holy card depicting the Sacred Heart of Jesus, ca. 1880, held in the Auguste Martin collection, University of Dayton Libraries. Source: Wikimedia Commons.



The Laundress, 1888 oil painting by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Source: