This section details the first arm wrestle between Barrington and Weathers. During the match, Weathers finds it particularly easy compared to Barrington, bringing his hand down slowly only after 30 seconds. Barrington gets extremely embarrassed about this and he flushes a dark red with anger and humiliation. We momentarily go into Apparition’s mind as he calls Weathers a ‘stripling’, belittling him, however he then goes on to accusing him of cheating and putting his weight behind it.
This is a sharp contrast of the ‘stripling’ that he used to scribe him just before. Then Barrington suggests of having another round, ‘two best out of three’ which shows his humiliation and desire to win and please. The second arm wrestle begins and Barrington uses a lot of his strength and strains to win the second time round. His ‘veins stood out and his arms ‘trembled under the stress’ showing the strain he is going through to try to beat Weathers. However Weathers again beats Barrington, bringing his hand down slowly to the table, showing how much he is in control compared to Barrington.
These arm wrestles were being watched by people at the pub and after the second win for Weathers, a ‘murmur of applause’ came about from them. Then a barman who was by them congratulated Weathers, the victor, which aggravated the anger and violence in Barrington more, Analysis: In this section, the aspect and theme that find particularly dominant is that of the physicality of Barrington and the way Joyce describes this. It is described in a masculine way; showing off what Barrington believes is manly, yet with Weathers’ masculinity described as below his, it showed that what Barrington thinks he is, a strong masculine man, he in fact isn’t.
This section also shows the mount Of anger that is present in Barrington, and the lengths to that he Will go to prove to his audience that he is a man. The arm wrestle is described as a ‘trial’ and not a match. This indicates that it’s a life or death situation and that it’s not a game, but a serious matter that he has to succeed in. It also implies that to Barrington everything depends on it if he loses this ‘trial’; the respect of his friends, the solitude of the pub and his pride.
It was then followed by ‘the veins stood out on Affirmation’s forehead’ which shows that he is fully exerting himself ND putting a lot of physical stain on his body to the point of it being dangerous. This shows that he finds this situation extremely important to him and that his rage is fuelled into this match to win. This also links into the idea of physicality as Barrington is displaying his full strength which made Weathers also have to try harder too as his ‘complexion changed to peony’ from the effort he too had to put in to counter Barrington.
Their arms in this position trembled under the stress’ which expresses both of their desires to win and prove their masculinity, especially Barrington who had failed the first time. The word trembled’ indicates that the force the opponent was exerting was so strong and that they too had to put a great amount of pressure to keep the other from winning. The term that followed, ‘stress’, also indicates that this match is challenging and demanding for them both and a huge amount of strength is having to be wielded to keep up the battle.
Weathers, again, brought down Apparition’s arm slowly after a ‘long struggle’ which implies that both the opponents were under the pressure to Win the match for a very long time, especially compared to the first time when it was quick to determine the winner. This suggests that Affirmation’s physical ability, although seemed much weaker in the first trial by being beaten only after 30 seconds, is present, however not to a standard that he expected to be.
Weathers is described as a ‘stripling’ and Barrington believes he is much stronger and powerful than he is, however he gets beaten by him twice over. The term ‘struggle’ shows this and that Barrington was in fact straining to keep up the arm wrestle against Weathers, and he manages to hold out for a long time, but in the end he ends up failing. An aspect that added to Barrington wanting to eat Weathers is that there was a crowd which had gathered to watch them both.
The pressure of winning in front to a crowd of people in the pub, which is almost like his own haven, was also great in Barrington and fuelled his anger when he had lost for the 2nd time. Barrington had a ‘violent expression’ on his face which displays how angered he was at being biblically embarrassed by losing the match. He pounces on what the curate said with an aggressive attitude which shows his fury that others in the pub have witnessed that he had lost to Weathers. In this particular passage, Affirmation’s masculine image which e believes himself to be is being stripped away from him.
He loses the arm wrestling matches twice to Weathers who is described as a ;stripling indicating he is perceived as young boy Who hasn’t yet grown to his full size; a boy who is not nearly as strong as a fully grown man, which Barrington believes he is. These losses’ undermine his own arguments and beliefs Of himself and extremely anger him especially as there were ‘spectators’ watching the whole performance. He is very embarrassed Of his loses Which then contributes to the coming Of vicious actions and thoughts soon afterwards.