Chapter Sixteen, Eumaeus
Narrative Focus: Bloom/Stephen
Characters: Stephen, Bloom, Skin-the Goat (shelterkeeper), “Lord” John Corley (see “Two Gallants” in Dubliners
Setting: Dublin Streets and the Cabman’s Shelter, 1 PM.
Upon his return to Ithaca, Odysseus disguises himself as a beggar. He is first recognized by the beloved swineherd Eumaeus and then reunited with Telemachus in the swineherd’s hut (Books XIV, XVI), a direct coincidence with the interview in Skin-the-Goat’s shelter.
Bloom guides Stephen to the cabman’s shelter where Stephen recovers over coffee. The red-bearded sailor, himself a returned Odysseus, spins yarns of adventure that underscore the theme of the wanderers’ return home.
Joyce designated the “art” of this chapter as navigation. Note the emergence of Odysseus as returned mariner (Bloom, the sailor).