Lotus Eaters

Like Stephen's second chapter, the second of Bloom's three morning chapters shows him outside of his home, making his way in the world of human society. In another echo of Nestor, the time frame is approximately 9:30 to 10:30 AM. The episode that Joyce called "Lotus Eaters" in his schemas begins the saga of Bloom's daylong journey through Dublin with a sustained meditation on drugs and other tactics for avoiding reality, inspired by some two dozen lines of Homer's poem in which some of Odysseus' men fall under the spell of a narcotic plant and must be forcibly re-conscripted. In the context of what he has learned about Molly and Blazes Boylan in Calypso, this analogue has clear application to Bloom.

John Hunt 2022

Bloom's progress from the end of Calypso to the start of Hades: his home on Eccles Street (blue arrow), Sir John Rogerson's Quay where Lotus Eaters begins (orange), and Paddy Dignam's house in Sandymount (red), shown on a simplified map of Dublin drawn by Hanni Bailey. Source: Chester Anderson, James Joyce.

"And dream idle, happy day-dreams that never ended," illustration of Odysseus' men on the island of the lotus by W. Heath Robinson in Jeanie Lang, Stories from the Odyssey Told to the Children (London, 1906). Source: Wikimedia Commons.

18th century French engraving by an unknown artist, showing Odysseus forcefully leading his men away from the land of the lotus. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

1931 photograph of two couples smoking and drinking in a Parisian bal-musette dance club, owned by Getty Images. Source: timeline.com.

1902 photograph of two women in a New York City opium den. Source: allthatsinteresting.com.

The paths walked in Lotus Eaters, drawn on an old map. Source: ulysses.bc.edu.

The same question marks drawn on a more recent map. Source: ulysses.bc.edu.