Villona is a poor, but talented, Hungarian pianist who is one of the six men who make up the partying group along with Jimmy Doyle. He also serves as a symbolic representative as Hungary and as a foil character for Jimmy Doyle. Joyce uses the contrast between Villona and Jimmy to illustrate his opinion of how the Irish should act in order to progress as a country. At the time that the story was written, Hungary had secured some governmental and fiscal independence from Austria, the country that had been ruling them, in the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 (although Joyce appears to be glorifying the reception of this political arrangement, as many Hungarians actually bitterly resented it and Hungary did not achieve total independence until 1918). While Jimmy is fixated on getting attention from his continental companions and on keeping up in their capitalist pursuits, Villona is satisfied with meeting his needs (glimpses into his consciousness reveal a focus on food) and exploring his artistic pursuits. Instead of talking about cars and capital at dinner, he tries to engage an uninterested Routh in a discussion about old English songs and instruments. While the other men play cards, he plays the piano and even leaves the cabin when they gamble, actions that demonstrate his disinterest in participating in the money games of the other men and his prioritization of art. Villona’s decision to not participate in their capitalist schemes illustrates how the country of Hungary is acting independently—fiscally, politically, and socially—from the other national powers that would otherwise control them. Villona offers a juxtaposition to Jimmy that serves to more clearly reveal Jimmy’s (and the Irish’s more generally) desperate dependance on other countries’ socioeconomic structures and approval. Additionally, while Jimmy is “too excited to be genuinely happy,” Villona is “an optimist by nature,” which suggests that Villona, because of his freedom from the insidious nature of capitalism, actually experiences happiness and is spared the spiritual despair that haunts Jimmy and, by extension, the Irish.