dorothy1901 posting in metaquotes
recessional must write an essay about A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. legionseagle expands on zir contention that Stephen is a tool.
Stephen is so obviously a tool that his toolishness is actually a theme of Ulysses. In fact, Ulysses (which I enjoyed) can be summarised as follows:
Episode One. Stephen demands his own feelings be respected in the smallest particular while being nasty about everyone else's. Buck and Haines discuss why they put up with him. It becomes apparent the answer is "to borrow money for booze."
Episode Two. Stephen's boss the headmaster, who is no charmer himself, tries to suggest ways in which Stephen could be less of a tool. These falling on deaf ears, he pays him and asks Stephen to assist in getting his letter about foot and mouth into the paper. The theme of "people only put up with Stephen being a tool for what they can get out of him" continues.
Episode Three. Stephen sits on the beach moping.
Episode Four. The book cheers up enormously. Stephen is not in this episode. Bloom shows that he is a far more interesting and likeable protagonist even just while on the toilet. One suspects Joyce meant the contrast between the actual and the metaphorical shit.
Episode Five and Six. All Bloom. Stephen spotted from the window of a carriage going to a funeral. The mourners are not wholly complimentary about him.
Episode Seven. Stephen tells long boring sexist story. His companions head to the pub.
Episode Eight. Bloom has lunch.
Episode Nine. Stephen goes on and on about his theory about Shakespeare. Eventually someone tells him he's full of it. Stephen claims the theory just a social experiment.
Episode Ten. Nothing much happens.
Episode Eleven. Stephen's father and uncle are in a hotel, in Stephen's father's case having a good old singsong. One suspects they are avoiding Stephen.
Episode Twelve. Bloom nearly gets in a fight in a pub.
Episode Thirteen. The voyeuristic bit involving Bloom.
Episode Fourteen. At hospital. Stephen gets drunk with a lot of medical students all of whom ignore woman in life-threatening labour upstairs. Contains very funny bit about sardines. Woman and baby survive.
Episode Fifteen. Stephen's "friends" contrive to give him the slip at the tram stop. Fuelled by absinthe, Stephen is an epic tool in a brothel (there is an mpreg sequence here, but it's probably the absinthe). Bloom pays for the damage and dashes after Stephen not in time to stop Stephen being punched by a soldier.
Episode Sixteen. Bloom hauls Stephen off to sober up a bit in a cabman's shelter. Coffee and conversation equally peculiar.
Episode Seventeen. Bloom takes Stephen back to Bloom's home to help him sober up further and offers him a bed for the night. Is Stephen grateful? Is he cocoa.
Episode Eighteen. Molly Bloom's soliloquy. The life-affirming climax of the novel. Stephen does not feature.