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MonkeyNotes-Ulysses by James Joyce
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Stephen and the girls meanwhile continue the discussion of theology and the clergy. Stephen metamorphoses himself into the noble Cardinal Dedalus. Bella Cohen, the mistress of the establishment, enters. Her powerful and massive appearance reawakens Bloom’s perverted appetites. Partly in imagination, partly in the spirited physical actions of the brothel, Bloom performs a number of demeaning acts. He becomes in imagination a feminine figure, punished for a variety of sins. In the fantasy he mistakes Milly for Molly. He realizes his age and feels himself totally rejected by Bella. He supposes himself packed off to oblivion. Mysterious voices shout: "Bloom? Never heard of him." So his new fantasy is quite opposed to his earlier one of power and apotheosis. Recollections of a more sexually innocent childhood follow. Bloom is aware of the chatter of the brothel running in a stream through his meditations. He is able to see the essential vulgarity and ugliness of the situation and of Bella.


The men settle their bills. Bloom takes a direct hand in assisting Stephen. He checks the payment of money and makes sure that the younger man is not cheated. The group then move to the pianola and begin a wild and chaotic dance. As the images swirl, Stephen visualizes his mother among the dancers. In despair and anguish, he strikes out with his stick, breaking the chandelier. Bloom rushes to help, Bella calls for the police. A general confusion follows. While Bloom soothes Bella, Stephen and Lynch, outside at the corner of Beaver Street, run into Private Compton and Private Carr. Stephen is still vivaciously talking of philosophy and politics. To the drunken ears of the English soldiers, he appears to have insulted the King. Edward VII himself appears, supervising the execution of the Croppy Boy to general applause. The soldiers and Stephen quarrel. Lynch gets the girls away. Bloom tries to protect Stephen who drops to the ground. The police appear. Corny Kelleher the undertaker turns up just in time to persuade them not to arrest Stephen, and the incident is over. The inhabitants of and visitors to Nighttown drift away. Bloom is left alone. He stares down at the peaceful and drunken Stephen. An idealized vision of Rudy appears before him.

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