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MonkeyNotes-Ulysses by James Joyce
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

Chapter 1

Telemachus Summary

It is morning. The time is 8 a.m. The day is June 16, 1904. The day begins for Stephen Dedalus, who is living in a tower on Dublin Bay at Sandycove between Kingstown and Dalkey. This place is about eight or nine miles south of Dublin. With him are Buck Mulligan, a medical student, and Haines, a resident visitor who is an English man from Oxford. Stephen complains of the behavior of Haines who is subject to hysterical nightmares. The previous night he has raved terrifyingly after dreaming of a black panther. Mulligan disapproves of Stephen for having refused to comfort his mother by praying at her deathbed. He tries to probe Stephenís moodiness by asking, "What have you against me now?" Stephen refers to an occasion soon after Mrs. Dedalusí death, when Mulligan alluded to her callously as "beastly dead."

Mulligan shaves. He calls Stephen down to breakfast and repeats his suggestion that Stephen should demand money from Haines. This is rejected by Stephen who reminds Mulligan that it is his payday. In the living room below Mulligan, Haines and Stephen settle down to breakfast, which is cooked and served largely by Mulligan. The milkwoman arrives. Mulligan pays two shillings to reduce the outstanding debt to two pence. Haines expresses his intention to go to the library that day. Mulligan proposes a swim first and then teases Stephen about his reluctance to wash.


Stephen, Mulligan and Haines leave the tower. Stephen puts the large key in his pocket. He broods on Mulliganís usurpation of the tower and his ever growing demands. Stephen and Haines make their way to the beach. They happen to pass two men on the cliff. One of them is a boatsman who refers to a drowned man. His body is expected to be washed up by that dayís tide. Down on the beach Stephen and Haines find Mulligan preparing for his bath. A young man, already in the water, refers to his friend, Bannon of Westmeath, who has found a "sweet young thing", his "photo girl." An elderly priest finishes his bath and gets out of the water nearby. The young man and Buck Mulligan discuss one Seymour, who has abandoned medicine for the army.

Mulligan completes his undressing, gets the tower key from Stephen, borrows two pence in addition, then plunges into the sea. Haines sits on a stone smoking. Having agreed to meet Mulligan at The Ship (an inn) at 12.30, Stephen walks away. He recalls the prayer that was recited at his motherís deathbed. His last thoughts are that he cannot return that night to the tower. Nor will he be in a position to go back to his own house. Mulligan, calling to him from the seas, is the usurper.

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