Priest spells poverty

In Nestor Mr. Deasy urges Stephen not to carry his money loose in his pocket, warning him that "You'll pull it out somewhere and lose it." Stephen's problem, he says, is that "you don't save." Later in the novel Bloom forms similar impressions. By making a Protestant and a Jew agree about Stephen's terrible money problems, the novel insinuates a cultural critique of Irish Catholicism. In Eumaeus Bloom makes the criticism explicit, arguing that "in the economic, not touching religion, domain, the priest spells poverty." His thinking here recalls that of the great German sociologist Max Weber.

John Hunt 2018

Grant Wood's American Gothic (1930), displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Cover of 1934 edition of Weber's great book. Source: Wikimedia Commons.