Scene: The Bath
Hour: 10 am
Art: botany, chemistry
Once again we find ourselves on a walk with Mr. Leopold Bloom, this time a little longer and giving us a longer "drink" of the local Dublin scene.
Mr. Bloom starts by getting his letter from Martha from the post office, where he runs into Mr. C. P. McCoy.
McCoy chats idly with Bloom, exchanges in an update with Bloom about their wives, and asks him to put his name down at Dignam's funeral.
During their conversation, Bloom's interior monologue continues to run at normal speed, and crops up continually throughout the narrative. While talking to McCoy, he's fingering his letter from Martha, and trying to catch a glimpse up the skirt of a woman getting into a carriage.
As he continues to wander around Dublin, his mind also wanders from subject to subject - smallpox, the Bible, his father's suicide, and on to reading Martha's letter in the "lee of the station wall".
I got your last letter to me and thank you very much for it. I am sorry you did not like my last letter. Why did you enclose the stamps? I am awfully angry with you. I do wish I could punish you for that. I called you naughty boy because I do not like that other world. Please tell me what is the real meaning of that word? Are you not happy in your home you poor little naughty boy? I do wish I could do something for you. Please tell me what you think of poor me. I often think of the beautiful name you have. Dear Henry, when will we meet? I think of you so often you have no idea. I have never felt myself so much drawn to a man as you. I feel so bad about. Please write me a long letter and tell me more. Remember if you do not I will punish you. So now you know what I will do to you, you naughty boy, if you do not wrote. O how I long to meet you. Henry dear, do not deny my request before my patience are exhausted. Then I will tell you all. Goodbye now, naughty darling, I have such a bad headache. today. and write by return to your longing
P. S. Do tell me what kind of perfume does your wife use. I want to know.
X X X X
Like Chapter 4, Chapter 5 weaves narrative with train of thought so closely that it's difficult to distinguish sometimes between the narrator and Bloom. There are little songs and advertisements running through his head throughout the chapter:
Bantam Lyons’s yellow blacknailed fingers unrolled the baton. Wants a wash too. Take off the rough dirt. Good morning, have you used Pears’ soap? Dandruff on his shoulders. Scalp wants oiling.
Many of these will reoccur throughout the book. Bloom concludes by giving Bantam Lyons a horse-racing tip, then (perhaps inspired by Lyons' uncleanliness) concludes the chapter with a bath:
Enjoy a bath now: clean trough of water, cool enamel, the gentle tepid stream. This is my body.
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Ulyssesby James Joyce
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