Quick revise
  • The gardens are symbolic:
  • Stephen’s garden is mysterious and not described in any great detail, much like his family background, which is kept vague.
  • The Hayward’s garden is ordered, tidy and well groomed, showing how the Keith family, at least on the surface, is ordered and, in Stephen’s view, very neat and tidy.
  • The Berrill’s garden is wilder and with the wild roses growing, symbolises the wild nature of the daughters whilst their father is away at war.


  • Means a number of things:
  • Private, a place for discovery and secrecy.
  • It is there to hide things and to keep things quiet, but it has the opposite effect on Stephen as he smokes here and has his first experience of sexual awakening.
  • Confused with ‘Privvy’, a toilet, which links to bodily functions and germs which Stephen is obsessed about (a fault of his parents?) and possible because of the German nickname.
The Tunnel
  • Symbolic of Stephen's passage into becoming an adult.
  • The tunnel separates the Close he lives in from the mysterious Lanes.
  • By going down the tunnel and venturing into the lanes he is showing independence and courage.
  • It is difficult at first and not without problems as the dogs add to the threat, but he bravely faces his fears.
  •  It is part of the theme of adventure in the novel as he discovers the box and the uniform there.
  • Keith is just as afraid as Stephen as to what they will find there and it seems Stephen has the power in the tunnel.
  • It also shows the class divide from the Close to the Lanes.