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Episode 6
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Synopsis by Gerry O'Flaherty

Pearse St.
Sackville Street
Dignam's Home
It is now eleven o'clock and in order to attend Paddy Dignam's funeral Bloom has travelled about a mile, most likely by tram, to Newbridge Avenue in Sandymount, which is within a few hundred yards of the beach, where we found Stephen in episode three.

In the funeral procession Bloom shares a carriage with Martin Cunningham, Jack Power and Simon Dedalus, who is Stephen's father. Here, as ever, Bloom is the outsider. This is shown in a number of small ways, such as always being addressed as 'Bloom' while the others use their first names, and their habit of rudely cutting across him when Bloom tries to enter the conversation.

In the cemetery at Glasnevin Bloom looks with some detachment on the brief service in the chapel. Ned Lambert speaks of a whip around for Dignam's family and we later find that Bloom contributes five shillings, which he can ill-afford.

At the graveside Hynes, the reporter, while noting the names of the mourners, asks Bloom, whom he knows to be a Jew, what his Christian name is. On the way out Bloom is snubbed once more, when he points out to John Henry Menton that his hat is dented.

Bloom's attendance at Dignam's funeral corresponds in Homer to Odysseus' descent to Hades.

   Episode 6 Hades    Listen to the show >>

The Funeral procession of Paddy Dignam follows that of the funeral of Matthew Kane, which Joyce attended in July 1904. Kane, a Chief Clerk of the Crown Solicitor's Office in the Castle, drowned after suffering a stroke while swimming in Kingstown, now Dun Laoighre. Like his fictional counterpart, Matthew Kane left behind a number of young children, for whom a collection was made after the burial. It appeared to be customary for family or friends of the deceased to help place the children in schools or secure employment.

From details in The Freemans Journal we can see that Kane's funeral was both larger and more representative, showing the great esteem in which the deceased had been held. Among these mourners named in the Freeman's Journal on July 14, 1904, were J. S. Joyce, J. A . Joyce, A.B., and Charles P. Joyce.