free booknotes online

Help / FAQ




<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Ulysses by James Joyce
Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version

Chapter 4

Calypso Summary

It is 8 a.m. Leopold Bloom prepares breakfast for himself and his wife. He plans to attend Paddy Dignam’s funeral. He is visited by thoughts of death as he works through the conventional activities of morning. Bloom has a pet cat and a faded wife, Molly, both to be routinely fed their breakfasts. As he watches the cat lap its milk, thoughts pass through his mind of food, of popular cat stories, and of the creaking bed upstairs which he believes was bought by Molly’s father in Gibraltar. Getting no clear reply from his sleepy wife, he checks a mysterious piece of paper in his hat.

Bloom leaves the house on a brief errand to the butcher. He has no key with him. The day is warm, and he realizes how hot he will be in his funeral suit. In his daydream, the hot streets of Dublin turn into an oriental bazaar. The sights and smells around him pull him back to reality. He spots Larry O’Rourke in the window of his tavern. He exchanges greetings with him, broods on the wealth of the brewers and the frequency of pubs in Dublin. When he comes to Dlugacz’s butcher shop, he pauses to take in the scene and admire a neighbor’s servant girl, standing in front of him in the queue. He rapidly buys three pence worth of kidney. He hopes to be in time to walk back behind her. But he is too late to see the girl. He walks back reading a piece of newspaper taken from the pile of wrapping paper at the butcher’s. As an advertising man, he is interested particularly in the advertisements. He recollects the exotic Mediterranean scene as he reads of orange groves. The sky clouds over and Bloom hurries home, mindful of breakfast and his wife’s presence recollecting her past girlish beauty.


When he gets home he finds two letters in the mail, one from his daughter and one to his wife from Blazes Boylan, her manager and lover. He puts his kidney on to cook. He takes breakfast up to his wife who comments briefly on the letter from Boylan. She asks Bloom the meaning of "metempsychosis." Bloom’s explanation seems to go clean above her head. She sends him downstairs to check a burning smell kitchen. His kidney has scorched a little. He eats it while rereading his daughter’s letter, which alludes to her affair with Bannon. Remembrances of his daughter’s birth and the early death of his son gives way to nostalgic reflections on his wife and their courtship. The cat’s mewing brings him back to reality. Sitting in the outdoor privy, he reads an old number of the weekly tabloid, Titbits. He considers the possibility that he might write an article for it. The Bells of St. George’s Church ring. He remembers the funeral and feels a pang of regret for "Poor Dignam."

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version


<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Ulysses by James Joyce
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   

All Contents Copyright © PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/9/2017 8:53:43 AM