(U) Ulysses, “Oxen of the Sun,” Episode 14~pp 377-421.


copyright (c) don ward 2020

Episode References from Stuart Gilbert’s James Joyce’s Ulysses.

  • Title: Oxen of the Sun
  • Scene: The Hospital
  • Time: 10 p.m.
  • Organ: Womb
  • Art: Medicine
  • Colour: White
  • Symbol: Mothers
  • Technic: Embryonic development

A Few Pregnant Quotes among Many

“Dashiell Holles Eamus”

Dashiell (Irish): “turning to the right, turning toward the sun”;Down
Holles Street;Eamus (Latin) “Let us go” (Gifford with SEIDMAN N383:1).

“Agendath is a waste land, a home of screechowls and the sandblind upupa. Netaim, the golden, is no more.”

The result of the abuse of fertility 

“Jay, look at the drunken minister coming out of the maternity hospital!”

Joyce in bohemian garb including wide-brimmed soft felt hat, that was once favored by Dublin’s Protestant ministers (S. Joyce 249).

“old Nobodaddy was in his cups”

“Nobodaddy” is Blake’s name for the God of the Old Testament (Campbell 126) and Bloom is Nobody/Odysseus and the pater familia.  

“Got bet be a boomblebee whenever he wus settin sleepin in hes bit garten.”

Bloom’s punishment for sins against fertility but also his fertilization.

“Ruth red him, love led on with will to wander.”

Bloom’s solicitude for Stephen (Gilbert 300). The parody of Everyman.

“With will will we withstand, withstay.”

While the medicals mock motherhood, including that of the Virgin Mother, Blooms silently resists.

“Come on, new triple extract of infamy exclamation Alexander J Christ Dowie that yanked to glory most half this planet from Frisco Beach to Vladivostok. The Deity ain’t no nickel dime bumshow. I put it to you that he’s on the square and a corking fine business proposition.”

Dowie’s poster is mocked for announcing the new Elijah.



What’s Important?

The attached WordCloud created courtesy of WordCloud.com shows the incidence of important words appearing in the post about this episode. Frequency may signify importance.

Features Important to the Enjoyment of the Oxen of the Sun Episode


  • The climax of one of Ulysses’ common themes: This is not the only time Bloom has spent time in the company of unruly medical students. Once before, he wandered into a street protest that included medicals. When the Castle dispatched forces to encourage the crowd to disperse (with cudgels), Poldy ducked out of the melee with an intern named Dixon. Some weeks before Bloomsday, the Traveler again met Dixon when Leopold was stung by a bee. The sting is a punishment his self-imposed infertility. Dixon is Mulligan’s opposite; Buck is callous about the pain of childbirth and dismisses the nobility of the motherhood. It would be too easy to attribute the meaning of this episode to a discussion of birth control and the termination of the fetus. Instead it is a celebration of fertility. Biology not withstanding, Bloom becomes Stephen’s spiritual father in this episode. This theme has been build since the novel opened. While the theme dealing with “Oxen, Cattle, and Horses” does not conclude here, it does reach a climax in this episode. 


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: