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Oxen of the Sun
Episode 14

Synopsis by Gerry O'Flaherty

Because it is written in so many styles of English, this is a very difficult episode to read. It is about 10 pm. Bloom has come from Sandymount to Holles Street maternity hospital to enquire after Mrs Purefoy, who has been in labour for three days.

His friend Nurse Callan tells Bloom that she has never seen so hard a birth. A medical student, Dixon, who treated Bloom's bee sting when he was in the Mater hospital, invites Bloom to have something to eat. Inside, with Dixon, he finds Lynch, Madden, Costello, Lenehan, Crotthers and Stephen Dedalus.

Sir Andrew Horne

There is a thunderstorm and Stephen is terrified and only Bloom tries to calm him. Mulligan arrives with Bannon, who is Milly's student friend. Nurse Callan tells Dixon that Mrs Purefoy has, at last, been delivered of a boy. Suddenly, near eleven o'clock, Stephen shouts 'Burke's' and everyone rushes to the public house. Stephen buys drinks for everyone.

Mulligan slips off to meet Haines in Westland Row station and Bannon realises that Bloom is Milly's father. Stephen and Lynch decide to go to a brothel and Bloom follows them.

Holles Street Hospital

In the Homeric correspondence, Odysseus/Bloom warns his followers against killing any of the sacred cattle on the Island of the Sun but they disobey him. Later a thunderbolt hits the ship and everyone except Odysseus is killed.



   Episode 14 Oxen of the Sun &   Listen to the show >>

Holles Street was a relatively new hospital in 1904. It was expanding and under Andrew Horne's tutelage it was a prominent hospital for teaching midwifery. As in 'Oxen of the Sun' there was friction between the students and staff in Holles Street.