Calypso: Thoughts and Questions

1) In The Odyssey Odysseus is trapped on Calypso's island. He has lived there for several years as Calypso's lover, but he longs to return to Ithaca and to Penelope. Bloom's story starts at his own home, 7 Eccles St. in Dublin, the same place he'll return to. How is Bloom's situation parallel to Odysseus's?

2) Especially compared to Stephen Dedalus, note how Bloom is consistently shown to be interested in and concerned with the world around him. Some examples (there are many others):
—the way his cat experiences the world (4:28-29, 4:40-42)
—the pattern of men coming to Dublin from small country towns and becoming successful pub owners (4:104-28)
—his idea that cattle could be moved to boats going out to sea via special tram lines (4:108-10)

3) Bloom's thoughts often move in a fairly identifiable train of associations. For example, in the paragraph starting at 4:201, he thinks about olive trees (from the Agendath Netaim ad he has just read), and that leads him to olives stored in jars and to Molly eating olives. Then he thinks about oranges (again from the ad), which leads to lemons (citrons), which leads to thoughts about a high school friend of his named Citron. This leads to other friends and to Molly with those friends.
—Note how often Bloom's thoughts, no matter where they start, end up focused on Molly.

4) A cloud covers the sky while Bloom walks home from the butcher's (4:218-31). Note how the grey sky affects Bloom's mood. A cloud, maybe the same one, covered the sky in "Telemachus" as well (1:248 - Joyce's schema tells us that both "Telemachus" and "Calypso" start at 8:00 AM). Compare Stephen's reaction with Bloom's.

5) A nearby church bell chimes to indicate 8:45, and its sound ("Heigho! Heigho!") registers in Bloom's mind (4:546-48). Throughout the day Bloom will associate this sound with his acquaintance who has died, Paddy Dignam, and with Dignam's funeral. Remember the phrase that went through Stephen's mind at the end of "Telemachus" ("Liliata rutilantium"), also associated with death (1:736-38).