From charlesreid1

Chapter 4 Calypso

Gilbert Scheme

Scene: The House

Hour: 8 AM

Organ: Kidney

Color: Orange

Symbol: Nymph

Art: Economics

Technic: Narrative (mature)


Calypso is the chapter that introduces the reader to Mr. Leopold Bloom. The chapter mixes narration with internal monologue in a way that's hard to untangle.

The chapter starts out with Mr. Bloom in his kitchen. He feeds the cat, then slips out to get something to eat for breakfast. When he comes back, he interacts with his wife, eats breakfast, reads a letter, pinches one off, and prepares to set off for his adventure.

In this chapter we really enter Mr. Bloom's thoughts

His hand took his hat from the peg over his initialled heavy overcoat and his lost property office secondhand waterproof. Stamps: stickyback pictures. Daresay lots of officers are in the swim too. Course they do. The sweated legend in the crown of his hat told him mutely: Plasto’s high grade ha. He peeped quickly inside the leather headband. White slip of paper. Quite safe.

On the doorstep he felt in his hip pocket for the latchkey. Not there. In the trousers I left off. Must get it. Potato I have. Creaky wardrobe. No use disturbing her. She turned over sleepily that time. He pulled the halldoor to after him very quietly, more, till the footleaf dropped gently over the threshold, a limp lid. Looked shut. All right till I come back anyhow.

17 references to potatoes (symbol of Jewish mourning, and Bloom attends a funeral; symbol of exchange of sexual affection; Ireland's staple food; taking the impression of a latch key, so he doesn't disturb his sleeping wife).

"She turned over sleepily that time." Replaying a memory.


Onomotopeia - the cat's "Mrkrgnao!"

Phallic symbols and masculinity

The illicit affair:

  • Molly and Leopold
  • Letter from Blazes Boylan
  • Jingles/jingling - Boylan - Chapter 11
  • Fruits - fruit shop - Chapter 10

Forgotten key

  • Full circle in Chapter 17

Going for a walk

  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • (Chapter 6)
  • Chapter 8


Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.

A kidney oozed bloodgouts on the willowpatterned dish: the last. He stood by the nextdoor girl at the counter. Would she buy it too, calling the items from a slip in her hand? Chapped: washingsoda. And a pound and a half of Denny’s sausages. His eyes rested on her vigorous hips. Woods his name is. Wonder what he does. Wife is oldish. New blood. No followers allowed. Strong pair of arms. Whacking a carpet on the clothesline. She does whack it, by George. The way her crooked skirt swings at each whack.

The ferreteyed porkbutcher folded the sausages he had snipped off with blotchy fingers, sausagepink. Sound meat there: like a stallfed heifer.

A barren land, bare waste. Vulcanic lake, the dead sea: no fish, weedless, sunk deep in the earth. No wind could lift those waves, grey metal, poisonous foggy waters. Brimstone they called it raining down: the cities of the plain: Sodom, Gomorrah, Edom. All dead names. A dead sea in a dead land, grey and old. Old now. It bore the oldest, the first race. A bent hag crossed from Cassidy’s, clutching a naggin bottle by the neck. The oldest people. Wandered far away over all the earth, captivity to captivity, multiplying, dying, being born everywhere. It lay there now. Now it could bear no more. Dead: an old woman’s: the grey sunken cunt of the world.


Grey horror seared his flesh. Folding the page into his pocket he turned into Eccles street, hurrying homeward.


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