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MonkeyNotes-Ulysses by James Joyce
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Between 2.55 p.m. and 4 p.m. the major characters in the novel and a host of minor characters cross Dublin. Their paths meet in an intricate and complicated pattern. Nineteen Episodes are described. They include, among other things, Boylan’s buying of some gift items for Molly, Bloom’s visit to bookstalls, Stephen’s survey of the window of a jeweler’s shop, Simon Dedalus’ meeting with Father Cowley, the meeting between Martin Cunningham and Mr. Power, Mulligan and Haines eating together in a restaurant and the Earl of Dudley’s procession.

In the afternoon, while Bloom is eating at the Ormond Hotel, Boylan comes into the bar. He gets a drink and sets off to call on Mrs. Bloom. When he has gone, Bloom hears the men in the bar talking and laughing about Molly’s easy favors. And the conversation, later on in the pub, about Boylan’s having won money in a boxing match-in spite of Bloom’s gently insistent efforts to induce the company to talk about tennis--is one of the incidents which give rise to an antagonism between Bloom and the rest of the company. Eventually there is a quarrel between the Citizen and Bloom.

In the evening Bloom and Martin Cunningham meet at Barney Kiernan’s tavern to discuss the affairs of the Dignam family. They get involved in a heated and drunken argument with the rowdies hanging about the bar. From the tavern Bloom retreats to the beach where he has an encounter with the romantic lady Gertie MacDowell and Cissy Caffrey and Edy Boardman. Cissy and Edy are fond of the children. They look after them efficiently, mediating their quarrels and entertaining them. As Gertie walks, her lameness is revealed. Bloom feels sympathy for her.


In the evening, Bloom goes to a maternity hospital to inquire after the wife of a friend, who has been having a hard delivery: there he meets and recognizes Stephen, who is drinking with the medical students. So Bloom is pained by the impiety of the medical students as they joke obscenely about childbirth and maternity. On the part of Stephen whose mother died only a year ago, this levity seems especially shocking. But Stephen’s very feeling of guilt about her makes him particularly blasphemous and brutal. Yet Bloom has himself in his own way offended against the principle of fertility by his recent prolonged neglect of Molly. It is this sin against fertility which- at the hour when Mrs. Bloom is entertaining Boylan-has landed Bloom in erotic daydreams about Gertie.

When Mrs. Purefoy’s child has finally been born, the party rushes out to a public house. Later on after a drunken altercation between Dedalus and Buck Mulligan at the tram station, Stephen, with one of his companions and with Bloom following some distance behind, proceed to a brothel. Both, this time, are pretty drunk. Bloom, with his invincible prudence, is not so drunk as Stephen. In their drunkenness, in the sordid gaslight and to the tune of the mechanical piano of the brothel, their respective preoccupations emerge fully for the first time since the morning into their conscious minds. Bloom beholds himself, in a hideous vision, looking on at Blazes Boylan and Molly. There rises suddenly in Stephen’s imagination the figure of his dead mother comeback from the grave to remind him of her bleak disheartened love and to implore him to pray for her soul. But again he will not and cannot consent. In a desperate drunken gesture, he is torn by his conflict of impulses, by his emotions, which deadlock each other. He lifts his stick and smashes the chandelier. Then he rushes out into the street. There he gets embroiled with two English Tommies and knocked down. Bloom has followed and, as he bends over Stephen, beholds an apparition of his own dead son, little Rudy.

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