In fact only one of the two men is "returning" to the source from which he began his day's journeying. (Stephen has no home, and halfway through Ithaca it becomes clear that he has miles to go before he sleeps.) But by analogy with Homer's Odyssey this chapter does represent a return, not only because Bloom goes home at the end of a long day, but also because he sets his mental house in order. With its crystalline if quirky rationality, the chapter's prose imitates this process of coming to intellectual rest.

JH 2014

Odysseus killing the suitors on an Attic red-figure skyphos, ca. 440 BC, from Tarquinia, by the Penelope Painter. Source: