Conflicted Emotion of Stephen Dedalus

Human emotion is very much complex that people are very helpless before it. It does not consider any logical explanation. There is always a confliction between their emotion and their belief. People what they believe and their emotion or the love for someone can make disillusionment among them. In Ulysses Telamachus, When Stephen’s mother was going to die in her deathbed, she told Stephen to pray for her. Stephen refused it. He would not bend his knee to the catholic church. It illustrates that Stephen does not believe in religion.

But on the other hand, it also shows that Stephen could not separate himself from the religious rituals. He became so emotionally broken or attached to his mother’s death that he unconsciously maintaining all the rituals of mourning. That’s why, Mulligan mocks him by saying that “You wouldn't kneel down to pray for your mother on her deathbed when she asked you. Why? Because you have the cursed jesuit strain in you, only it's injected the wrong way. To me it's all a mockery and beastly”. (p.7)

Wearing black colored dress shows that Stephen is still in his mother’s mourning. So, it means that he still honors and follow the tradition of mourning, but he refused to kneel and pray which is paradoxical and conflicted with his own belief.