Lotus Eaters: Thoughts and Questions

1) Note how the Homeric parallel with eating the lotus (lolling around without any desire to do anything) plays out in the first three paragraphs of the episode.

2) In his letter to Carlo Linati (see Comments by Joyce), Joyce said that each adventure (that is, Homeric parallel) should create its own technique. The lotus is a flower. Note how often and in how many different ways flowers appear in this episode.

3) As Bloom talks to M'Coy (who was in the Dubliners story "Grace") at the start of the episode, there is a wonderful counterpoint between the public Bloom and his private self. Compare what he says and how he acts with what he is thinking at 5:82-182.

4) All day Bloom will find it hard to escape listening to and talking about Molly's upcoming tour with Boylan. And often, sometimes deliberately and often inadvertently, the words will be especially unfortunate for him. Note how M'Coy asks him about the tour: "Who's getting it up?" (5:153)

5) Look at Martha Clifford's letter to Bloom at 5:241-59, especially the spelling mistakes and the threats of punishment.

6) Notice how Bloom reacts to the church service at 5:318-466.