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From Morris Beja, "Some Points of Departure," in Appproaches to Ulysses, ed. Kathleen McCormick et al, (MLA 1993, pp 131-38). (Beja warns not to take any of this too far.)
Note: The scanned text may have errors.
Chapter 1: "Telemachus"
It is around 8:00 a.m. The setting is the Martello tower, in Sandycove, on Dublin Bay, a few miles south of the center of Dublin. Stephen Dedalus, age twenty-two, has been living in the tower with Malachi ("Buck") Mulligan, a medical student, and Haines, a young Englishman. A year has passed since the death of Stephen's mother, which brought him home from Paris; it is about two years since the end of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. One version of the schema gives the technique of the chapter as "narrative (young). "
The Homeric correspondence for Stephen is Telemachus, son of Odysseus, and for Mulligan it is Antinous, one of the suitors of Penelope (Telemachus's mother and Odysseus's wife); Antinous and the other suitors took over Odysseus's palace and attempted to usurp his (and, consequently, Telemachus's) role. The symbol of the chapter, in one version of the schema, is "heir."
Chapter 2: "Nestor"
It is around 10:00 a.m. Stephen is teaching a class of boys in a school in Dalkey, a suburb south of Dublin not far from the Martello tower. The headmaster of the school is Garrett Deasy, who asks Stephen to help him place a letter to the editor (on foot-and-mouth disease) in a newspaper. The schemas list "history" as the art of the chapter; the technique, in one version, is "catechism (personal)" (contrast with the technique for chapter 17).
Nestor, a king noted for his wisdom, befriended young Telemachus and offered him counsel. Here, however, the correspondence for Nestor is Deasy. Helen of Troy corresponds to Mrs. O'Shea (see ch. 6 notes on Charles Stewart Parnell).
Chapter 3: "Proteus"
At around 11:00 a.m. Stephen walks along the strand at Sandymount, between Dalkey and Dublin. His stream of consciousness is presented through an extended interior monologue; Joyce identified the technique of the chapter as "monologue (male)"; the art of the chapter is "philology. "
Proteus, an elusive god of the sea, had the ability to change his shape at will.
Chapter 4: "Calypso"
We are back between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. again, at 7 Eccles Street, north of the River Liffey in Dublin, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Bloom. Leopold, age thirty-eight, is an advertising canvaser, and his wife Marion ("Molly"), age thirty-three, is a concert singer. They have a daughter, Milly, age fifteen, who has a job in another town (Mullingar); Bloom receives a letter from her. Their only other child, a boy given the name Rudy (after Bloom's father, Rudolph Bloom, born Rudolph Virag), died shortly after birth, almost eleven years ago. Another letter, for Molly, is from Hugh ("Blazes") Boylan, who is arranging a concert tour for her-as well as an appointment to be her lover this afternoon, as Bloom is silently aware. Although he has been baptized into the Catholic church, Bloom was born of a Jewish father and is regarded by everyone in the novel as a Jew. He leaves home to buy a kidney (the organ for this chapter) for his breakfast, and be also serves Molly her breakfast. The technique of the chapter is "narrative (mature)," in contrast to the "narrative (young)" of chapter 1.
Joyce indicated that a correspondence for Calypso is the nymph in the picture hanging above the Blooms' bed (the symbol for the chapter in one schema is "nymph"; the alternative version lists other symbols as well, including "vagina," "exile," and "Israel in bondage"). In Homer, Calypso held Odysseus captive on her island for seven years, until ordered by the gods to release him. As a correspondence for "the recall" itself-the summons issued by Hermes for Odysseus to return home to Ithaca-Joyce cited Dlugacz, the apparently Jewish butcher from whom Bloom buys the kidney; the correspondence for Ithaca is "Zion."
Chapter 5: "Lotus-eaters"
It is around 10:00 a.m. Bloom walks through areas south of the River Liffey (which crosses the center of Dublin, west to east) to the baths, near Trinity College. (His home at 7 Eccles Street does not have a bath.) One schema lists the organ of the chapter as "genitals"; in the other it is "skin." On his way, Bloom stops at a post office and picks up a letter from a Martha Clifford, who had once answered an advertisement he had placed under the name "Henry Flower." We discover later that when Bloom tells Bantam Lyons to keep the newspaper Bloom was going to throw away anyway, Lyons believes Bloom is giving him a tip on Throwaway, a horse running in the Gold Cup at Ascot-a long shot that, it later turns out, wins.
The title "Lotus-eaters" refers to the incident in which members of Odysseus's crew ate the lotus, a drug that made them forget their homes and all desires save the wish to remain where they were.
Chapter 6: "Hades"
It is between 11:00 a.m. and noon; Bloom attends the funeral of Patrick ("Paddy") Dignam, along with other Dublin acquaintances, among whom is Simon Dedalus, Stephen's father. The funeral carriages go from Dignam's home in Sandymount, south of Dublin, to Glasnevin cemetery, north of the city. At the cemetery, the mourners stop for a moment at the grave of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-91), who fell from leadership of the cause of Irish freedom after being named in a divorce case involving his lover ("Kitty" O'Shea) and her husband.
Joyce associated the caretaker of the cemetery, John O'Connell, with Hades, god of the underworld, whose realm Odysseus visited. The River Dodder, the Grand and Royal Canals, and the River Liffey correspond to the four rivers of the realm of Hades. While in Hades Odysseus promised the shade of Elpenor (a member of his crew and here the parallel for Dignam) that his body would be given a proper burial. Other correspondences include those of Parnell with Agamemnon (the slain Greek king), Menton with Ajax (whom Odysseus saw in Hades but who, out Of an old resentment, refused to speak with him), and Cunningham with Sisyphus (condemned forever to push a boulder up a hill, only to see it roll down again).
Chapter 7: "Aeolus"
It is around noon, in the offices of a Dublin newspaper, the Freeman (that is, the Freeman's journal and National Press and the Weekly Freeman and National Press), in the center of Dublin, just off O'Connell Street and near the General Post Office. Bloom comes there regarding an advertisement for Alexander Keyes; Stephen comes separately because he has promised to try to get the letter Deasy has written into a newspaper. The art of the chapter is "rhetoric," and the organ is "lungs."
Aeolus (here corresponding to Myles Crawford, the editor of the newspaper), the keeper of the winds, was hospitable to Odysseus and gave him a sealed bag containing all the winds except the one that would blow his ship home. Odysseus's men opened the bag, and the released winds blew their ship off course; angered at the sailors' disobedience, Aeolus refused Odysseus's second plea for help.
Chapter 8: "Lestrygonians"
It is between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m., lunchtime in Dublin. Bloom walks south from O'Connell Street across the river to Duke Street, where he has lunch at Davy Byrne's pub (the organ here is the "esophagus," the technique, 11 peristaltic prose"), and then to the National Museum (next to the National Library-the setting for the next chapter).
The Lestrygonians were giant cannibals who devoured many of Odysseus's men; the leader of the Lestrygonians was Antiphates (associated in a schema with "hunger"), whose daughter lured the men into his trap (as "decoy," she is connected in a schema with 'food").
Chapter 9: "Scylla and Charybdis"
We are at the National Library, between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. Stephen has a discussion of Hamlet with several acquaintances, a number of whom are based on (and given the names of) actual Dublin literary figures of the time. Prominent among them are AE, (George Russell), a poet with an interest in mysticism; Richard 1. Best, assistant director of the library; John Eglinton (William K. Magee), assistant librarian and author; and Thomas W. Lyster, "Quaker librarian." The art of the chapter is "literature." The symbol in one schema is "London and Stratford," and in the other Joyce adds more pairings: "Scholasticism and Mysticism," "Plato and Aristotle," "Youth and Maturity. "
Scylla and Charybdis were the dual perils through which Odysseus had to pass: Scylla was a six-headed monster who dwelt on a rock; Charybdis was a nearby whirlpool. Joyce associates "the rock" with 'Aristotle, Dogma, Stratford" and the "whirlpool" with "Plato, Mysticism, London." In this chapter the figure of Ulysses is associated with "Socrates, Jesus, Shakespeare."
Chapter 10: "Wandering Rocks"
In nineteen brief sections taking place between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m., we see glimpses of Dublin life occurring in various parts of the city and involving various people. (In one schema the symbol is "citizens. ") The first and longest section follows the Reverend John Conmee, Sj, who was rector at Clongowes Wood College when Stephen was a student there (in Portrait); it was to him that Stephen appealed his unjust pandyingh by Father Dolan. Now attached to St. Francis Xacier's Church, in Dublin, Father Conmee is associated with the "Asiatic bank" (of the Black Sea; see the Homeric correspondences below); the viceroy-whose procession passes in scenes throughout the chapter-is associated with the "European bank."
Joyce associated the groups of Dublin citizens with the Wandering Rocks (the Symplegades, near the entrance to the Black Sea, between Europe and Asia)-which are mentioned but do not actually appear in the Odyssey, although they do figure in Vergil's Aeneid. They were two huge floating rocks that crushed ships attempting to pass between them.
Chapter 11: "Sirens"
It is around 4:00 p. m. This chapter contains many approaches and techniques based on the art of music (the art in the schema is "music"; the technique is the "Fuga per canonem," or fugue according to rule); the organ is "ear." Bloom walks to a bar (the Concert Room of the Ormond Hotel, on the quay of the Liffey). He sits with Richie Goulding (Stephen's uncle-his mother's brother) in a room apart from the one patronized by a group of men around the piano: Simon Dedalus, "Father" Bob Cowley, and Ben Dollard. Also among the patrons is Blazes Boylan, who is on his way to his appointment with Molly at 7 Eccles Street.
The barmaids, Lydia Douce and Mina Kennedy, correspond to the Sirens, whose song lured sailors to shipwreck on the rocks. Odysseus had his crew put wax in their ears so that they would not hear the song, but he had himself lashed to the mast, so that he could hear the Sirens but could not yield to their song.
Chapter 12: "Cyclops"
The scene is Barney Kiernan's pub, around 5:00 p.m., near the Four Courts, the legal center of Dublin. There is a dual, interchanging narration here: one is by an unnamed patron of the pub, the other is in a series of adopted styles. One schema specifies the technique as "gigantism," the other, as alternating asymmetry. " Because of the tip Bloom is supposed to have given Bantam Lyons on Throwaway, the men in the pub mistakenly come to believe Bloom has won money on a long shot.
The Citizen corresponds to the Cyclops, Polyphemus, a one-eyed giant who ate some of Odysseus's men; in escaping from him, Odysseus blinded him with a heated stake (cf. Bloom's cigar).
Chapter 13: "Nausicaa"
Two or three hours have passed; it is between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., at the strand in Sandymount. Bloom, alone, has come from his visit with Martin Cunningham to Paddy Dignam's widow, whose home is nearby. Half the chapter presents the point of view of Gerty MacDowell, a young woman who is sitting on the rocks of the strand; the other half, after Gerty leaves, comprises the thoughts of Bloom, who has been watching her. The symbol in one schema is "virgin"; the other lists three symbols: "onanism, 'female , and "hypocrisy." One version of the schema gives the technique as "tumescence" and "detumeseence," the other, as "retrogressive progression."
Gerty corresponds to Nausicaa, the princess of Phaeacia who found Odysseus after he had been washed ashore on her island, naked and alone; Phaeacia is identified here with the nearby Church of Mary, Star of the Sea.
Chapter 14: "Oxen of the Sun"
The scene is the maternity hospital on Holles Street, at 10:00 p.m. (the art is "medicine" or "physic"). For many readers, this chapter presents the greatest problems, and Joyce himself spoke of it as "the most difficult episode. " The styles follow the historical development of English prose. In part, too, the development parallels the growth of an embryo during a nine-month pregnancy: the technique is identified as "embryonic development" (or 11 prose [Embryo-Foetus-Birth]"). The organ in one schema is "womb," in the other, "matrix" (that is, womb) and "uterus." One schema specifies the symbol as "mothers."
Bloom has come to the hospital to inquire about his friend Mina Purefoy, who is giving birth. In the commons room, he encounters Stephen Dedalus, who is getting drunk along with a number of medical-student acquaintances, among them Mulligan. They discuss various topics, including the morality of birth control. At the end, they all go to Burke's pub; Bloom goes along to keep an eye on Stephen.
Joyce associated the hospital with the island of the Oxen of the Sun, the island of Helios, the sun god (here the parallel of Dr. Horne, a director of the hospital). Odysseus warned his men not to kill the oxen, sacred symbols offertility, but they did so, provoking Zeus to destroy their ship with a thunderbolt.
Chapter 15: "Circe"
It is around midnight in an area Joyce called Nighttown, a brothel district in the northeast section of Dublin, where Bloom, concerned about Stephen, has followed him. Stephen has been deserted by Mulligan, Haines, and the other young men except Lynch. Most of the chapter takes place in Bella Cohen's brothel. One schema gives the technique as "hallucination," the other, as "vision animated to bursting-point"; in one version the art is 11 magic," in the other, "dance." In the schema that lists the symbols for "Nausicaa" and "Oxen of the Sun" (chs. 13 and 14) as respectively, "virgin" and "mothers," the symbol for this chapter is "whore."
Bella corresponds to Circe, the enchantress who transformed Odysseus's crew into swine. Odysseus rescued them by means of a magic herb ("moly"), and they became men again.
Chapter 16: "Eumaeus"
At around 1:00 a.m., Bloom and Stephen walk to the cabman's shelter, a pub open late for the convenience of cabmen. The pub, next to Butt Bridge, is kept by a man his customers believe is Skin-the-Goat, who was accused of being one of the "Invincibles"-the group who murdered two high British officials in Phoenix Park in 1882. In the schema that lists the technique of the first chapter ("Telemachus") as "narrative (young)" and that of the fourth chapter ("Calypso") as "narrative (mature)," the technique of this chapter is narrative (old)."
Skin-the-Goat corresponds to Eumaeus, the faithful swineherd at whose hut the disguised Odysseus was given shelter when he returned to Ithaca. The schemas identify Murphy, the sailor, as "Ulysses Pseudangelos" ("Ulysses the False Messenger"). He is apparently a false or lying Odysseus-both like and unlike the (often deceptive) Homeric Odysseus.
Chapter 17: "Ithaca"
It is around 2:00 a.m., and Stephen and Bloom walk to 7 Eccles Street, where they have cocoa and talk until Stephen leaves, although Bloom has invited him to stay the night. Joyce called the question-and-answer technique of this chapter "catechism (impersonal)" in the schema that lists the technique for chapter 2 ("Nestor") as "catechism (personal)." The art is "science," and the symbol is "comets.
Ithaca is Odysseus's honie. Blazes Boylan doesn't put in an appearance, as such, but in Joyce's schenta he corresponds to Eurymachus, the second suitor Odysseus kills after he returns to his palace; thefirst was Antinous, the parallel for Mulligan in chapter 1. In addition, Joyce associates the suitors with "scruples" and Odysseus's bow (the weapon he uses to kill the suitors) with "reason."
Chapter 18: "Penelope"
It is no particular or specified time (in one schema, the entry for time is the sign for eternity, the inverted 8, ). Molly Bloom is in bed. The technique is listed alternatively as "monologue (female)" or "monologue/Resigned style": there are eight long unpunctuated sentences in this chapter.
Molly corresponds to Penelope. In the schema, Penelope is associated with "Earth," which is also the symbol for the chapter.