“And it was the din of all these hollowsounding voices that made him halt irresolutely in the pursuit of phantoms. He gave them ear only for a time but he was happy only when he was far from them, beyond their call, alone or in the company of phantasmal comrades.” Joyce, pp. 70
As a growing boy, Stephen faces socialization from many different sources, all attempting to educate him to act the way they want. He appears reticent to listen to them, but who does he want to be in his society and culture?