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Ulysses Study Guide

Ulysses By James Joyce

Late one night, Stephen Dedalus hides from his mocking friend Buck and resents him, but leaves him his house key and agrees to meet him at the pub later. That morning, Stephen teachers a history lesson to his class at Garrett Deasy's boy's school, meeting Deasy afterward and agreeing to take an editorial letter from Deasy to the newspaper. He then wanders about, pondering, and composes a poem which he writes in a scrap torn from Deasy's letter.

That same morning, Leopold Bloom learns that his wife Molly's concert tour manager, Blazes Boylan (which whom he suspects his wife his sleeping) will visit that afternoon. Later, he reads a sexy letter from Martha Clifford with whom he is corresponding. He also runs into Bantam Lyons, who mistakenly believes Leopold tips him off on the horse Throwaway in that afternoon's race. He then rides with Simon Dedalus (Stephen's father) to a funeral where he ponders the deaths of his son and father.

At noon, Bloom is negotiating an advertisement for a liquor merchant with a newspaper. Just as Bloom leaves, Stephen arrives with Deasy's letter, and he and the others get ready to leave for the pub. As Bloom returns, his ad negotiation is rejected by the office workers as they leave. An hour later, Bloom runs into old flame Josie Breen, they chat, and as he eats lunch (alone) he reminisces about sex with Molly.

Stephen, that afternoon, presents a theory about Hamlet to some librarians, who dismiss him and leave. Buck finds him and scolds him for forgetting to meet him at the pub. Later, Simon Dedalus, Blazes Boylan and others meet at the Ormond Hotel bar; Bloom sees Boylan's car and watches as he leaves for his appointment with Molly and gets depressed. He writes back to Martha.

That evening, Bloom gets in a barfight with an xenophobic Irishman over his Jewishness, then masturbates while watching a young lady (Gerty MacDowell) reveal her legs to him.

That night, Bloom joins Stephen and several medical students at Burke's pub. At closing time, they retire toward the brothel section of town. Stephen gets drunk and gets K.O.ed by a British soldier. Bloom revives Stephen and invites him to his house to sober up.

They arrive after midnight, and Bloom asks Stephen to stay the night. Stephen refuses, and Bloom asks his wife for breakfast in bed the next morning. His wife, surprised because she knows he just found evidence of her affair with Boylan, stays up after he falls asleep, thinking about her life, her singing, her childhood, and her relationship with her husband, eventually concluding that she loves him.

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