Stephen Dedalus and Lynch pass through the crowd ‘close to the redcoats’ – L63 – (Private Carr and Private Compton, who are English soldiers, are patrolling the streets!). Stephen and Lynch are on their way to nighttown, the red light district of the Dublin of 1904. Specifically, they are on their way to a brothel. Stephen, ‘flourishing the ashplant in his left hand chants with joy the introit’ of the Mass. L75
Bloom is a little bit behind them. He pops into a porkbutcher’s shop (Olhausen’s) and buys a take-a-way meal, a pig’s crubeen (very un-Jewish, I should think!) and a sheep’s trotter, ‘sprinkled with wholepepper.’ L159
And this is where we get the theme – or style of this episode. (From the guide book – Ulysses Annotated, Joyce uses the word – technique.) Because Bloom regrets buying the food, he suffers from anxiety and from hallucination. His parents, Rudolph and Ellen Bloom appear to him and begin to chastise him. His mother, Ellen cries out to him and ends her cry with -‘Sacred Heart of Mary, where were you at all at all’ L290. Others to appear and to torment him are Molly, Gerty MacDowell and Mrs Breen, who forthrightly says ‘Mr. Bloom! You down here in the haunts of sin! I caught you nicely! Scamp!’ L393
(An aside: This shows that Bloom’s mother is very much an Irish Catholic girl – her name, and the language she uses, emphasise this. So Bloom is a Catholic Christian, after all !!!)
Bloom next enters a nightmarish dream world. The dogs get his food and he ends up in a public court accused of all kinds of crimes with all kinds of witnesses accusing him. The street girl Zoe Higgins brings him back to reality. (The family name is the same as that of his mother’s maiden name! – a coincidence?) She takes his lucky potato from his pocket. Since he rarely smokes, he cannot give her a cigarette. He disdains the practise of smoking – ‘The mouth can be better engaged than with a cylinder of rank weed.’ L1350
This instigates another hallucination – of megalomaniac proportions! Amidst great pomp and with great reverence from all sections of society Bloom is the ‘undoubted emperor-president and king-chairman, the most serene and potent and very puissant ruler of this realm.’ L1470 The celebrations and the outlandish reverence (even from baby Boardman) for Bloom goes pear-shaped when he is accused by Alexander J Dowie – ‘Fellowchristians and antiBloomites, the man called Bloom is from the roots of hell, a disgrace to Christian men.’ L1753. However Buck Mulligan and his other doctor friends save the day. They declare him to be a woman and Bloom gives birth to 8 babies who are immediately appointed to positions of high public trust in several different countries...’ L1828.
The whole issue of dreams and hallucinations was a serious topic at the turn of the 20th century. Sigmund Freud’s theories and understandings were hot conversational discussions and engendered some awe amongst people of the time. Dreams, so the argument went, happen so that we can confront our fears and anxieties. By allowing for this confrontation we can end up less repressed and become more free. This is the theory. Reading the hallucinations so far in this episode I am disappointed. The above hallucination is full of mockery – and I have to be convinced that mockery is an integral part of dreams and hallucinations. See L1938 as an example: ‘The daughters of Erin, in black garments, with large prayerbooks and long lighted candles in their hands, kneel down and pray ‘Kidney of Bloom, pray for us’ ...’
When he gets back to real life he meets Zoe Higgins once more. She directs him to Bella Cohen’s brothel. Stephen and Lynch are there already. Several hallucinations take place here – with Stephen and Bloom. At the end when Zoe plays the pianola everyone begins dancing (except Bloom). Stephen suffers from another fit – his mother ‘emaciated, rises through the floor’ (L4157) and frightens him. He lashes out with his ashplant, smashes the chandelier and runs out the door. Bella calls out for the police screaming ‘After him!’ L4259
Bloom pays for the damage and goes out looking for Stephen. Stephen is already in trouble with the patrolling English soldiers. Stephen avows to disassociate himself totally from church and state. Tapping his brow he proclaims ‘But in here it is I must kill the priest and the king.’ L4436 Lynch abandons him (‘Exit Judas’ L4730) and Private Carr rushes towards him and strikes him and he falls to the ground. Bloom relies on the good influence of Corny Kelleher to deal with the police. Bloom and Stephen are now alone together in the street. He looks on Stephen – ‘Face reminds me of his poor mother.’ L4949
And another one of Bloom’s hallucinations emerges. ‘Against the dark wall a figure appears slowly, a fairy boy of eleven.’ L4956. It is Bloom’s son, Rudy.
Perhaps this final hallucination confirms for Bloom the father-son relationship between himself and Stephen. But it is Stephen who presents himself in a very sorry state. He is a blind raving drunk, in trouble with his friends, acquaintances and the law. He vows for the rest of his life that he will serve neither man nor God, emphasising what he had earlier stated – ‘Non serviam!’ L4428 – and all this at 22 years of age!