After the Race

by

James Joyce

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on After the Race can help.

Charles Ségouin Character Analysis

Charles Ségouin is a French man who owns the car that Jimmy Doyle, André Rivière, and Villona are riding in at the end of the race. Ségouin serves as a symbolic representative for the French in the story. At the beginning of the story, he is in good spirits because of the French team’s success in the race, and because he has received some orders for the motor company that he is purportedly opening in Paris. He has also been working to persuade Jimmy to invest in this company. Ségouin appears to be rich, and apparently owns several large hotels in France. As the story progresses, Ségouin proves himself to have good taste (he sets up an excellent dinner at his hotel), and an able manager of the conversation among the group of men who gather for that dinner. Yet there is always the sense in the story that Ségouin may not be entirely on the up-and-up. It’s not clear just how legitimate his not-yet-founded motor company is. His efforts to get Jimmy to invest are manipulative (he implies that he is doing Jimmy a favor by letting him put money into the venture), and his hotel wealth is unconfirmed. Further, his demeanor through the night seems to imply a willingness to humor Jimmy while taking advantage of him—getting Jimmy drunk, then crushing him at cards. The implication is that Ségouin may be playing on Jimmy’s insecurities in order to exploit him, with a further suggestion that the French more generally may be exploiting the wealthy Irish class in similar ways.

Charles Ségouin Quotes in After the Race

The After the Race quotes below are all either spoken by Charles Ségouin or refer to Charles Ségouin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Ireland at the Beginning of the 20th Century Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of After the Race published in 1993.
After the Race Quotes

Near the bank Ségouin drew up and Jimmy and his friend alighted. A little knot of people collected on the footpath to pay homage to the snorting motor.

Related Characters: Charles Ségouin, Jimmy Doyle, Villona
Related Symbols: Car
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

Jimmy, whose imagination was kindling, conceived the lively youth of the Frenchmen twined elegantly upon the firm framework of the Englishman’s manner. A graceful image of his, he thought, and a just one.

Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

Jimmy, under generous influences, felt the buried zeal of his father wake to life within him: he aroused the torpid Routh at last. The room grew doubly hot and Ségouin’s task grew harder each moment: there was even danger of personal spite. The alert host at an opportunity lifted his glass to Humanity and, when the toast had been drunk, he threw open a window significantly.

Related Characters: Jimmy Doyle, Routh, Charles Ségouin
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

Play ran very high and paper began to pass. Jimmy did not know exactly who was winning but he knew that he was losing. But it was his own fault for he frequently mistook his cards and the other men had to calculate his I.O.U.’s for him. They were devils of fellows but he wished they would stop: it was getting late.

Related Symbols: The Card Game
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:

It was a terrible game. They stopped just before the end of it to drink for luck. Jimmy understood that the game lay between Routh and Ségouin. What excitement! Jimmy was excited too; he would lose, of course. How much had he written away?

Related Characters: Jimmy Doyle, Charles Ségouin, Routh
Related Symbols: The Card Game
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire After the Race LitChart as a printable PDF.
After the Race PDF

Charles Ségouin Character Timeline in After the Race

The timeline below shows where the character Charles Ségouin appears in After the Race. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
After the Race
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
...who are each very excited for different reasons. The French owner of the car, Charles Ségouin, is pleased with the good prospects for the motor company he is going to start.... (full context)
Wealth and Greed vs. Citizenship Theme Icon
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
...term in Cambridge to “see a little life,” and it is there that he met Ségouin. Jimmy and Ségouin are just acquaintances, but Jimmy enjoys spending time with the charismatic and... (full context)
Ireland at the Beginning of the 20th Century Theme Icon
Wealth and Greed vs. Citizenship Theme Icon
The car drives along. Ségouin and Rivière, who are in the front seat, are speaking in French and laughing to... (full context)
Ireland at the Beginning of the 20th Century Theme Icon
Wealth and Greed vs. Citizenship Theme Icon
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
...friends have seen him with these three men from the European continent. Earlier that day, Ségouin had introduced him to one of the other French drivers, which had earned Jimmy plenty... (full context)
Wealth and Greed vs. Citizenship Theme Icon
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
Jimmy is confident in the large investment he is about to make in Ségouin’s company. Ségouin has implied that it is thanks to their friendship that Jimmy even has... (full context)
Ireland at the Beginning of the 20th Century Theme Icon
Wealth and Greed vs. Citizenship Theme Icon
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
When they arrive in Dublin, Ségouin drops Jimmy and Villona off at the bank. The car draws lots of attention from... (full context)
Wealth and Greed vs. Citizenship Theme Icon
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
At the Doyle household, Jimmy’s dinner with Ségouin is viewed as a special occasion. While his parents are a bit nervous, the family... (full context)
Wealth and Greed vs. Citizenship Theme Icon
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
The dinner with Ségouin is delicious and confirms Jimmy’s confidence in the Frenchman’s sophistication. At dinner, the four men... (full context)
Ireland at the Beginning of the 20th Century Theme Icon
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
After the dinner, Ségouin, Jimmy, Rivière, Routh, and Villona take a walk by Stephen’s Green (a public park), where... (full context)
Ireland at the Beginning of the 20th Century Theme Icon
Wealth and Greed vs. Citizenship Theme Icon
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
Jimmy, Ségouin, Rivière, Farley, and Routh begin to play cards while Villona plays the piano. The games... (full context)
Ireland at the Beginning of the 20th Century Theme Icon
Wealth and Greed vs. Citizenship Theme Icon
Capitalism, Commodification, and Amorality Theme Icon
...terrible about the game. He is dimly aware that the leading winners are Routh and Ségouin and he musters some excitement for them, even in the face of his heavy losses.... (full context)