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Stephen’s dad tells him a story about a little boy named Baby Tuckoo.
Various political discussions/arguments make it clear that Mr. Dedalus is a fervent supporter of Irish nationalism, particularly of Charles Parnell.
Initially, the family is quite well off; the Christmas scene reveals that they have servants and a very comfortable lifestyle.
Mr. Dedalus suffers mysterious financial losses that force the family move to Dublin from the country.
Further losses make it necessary to sell the Dedalus family land in Cork, Simon’s hometown. He and Stephen go there to handle the sale.
Mr. Dedalus’s alcoholism is revealed during the Cork trip.
While in Cork, Mr. Dedalus bemoans his dead father and his lost youth.
By the time of Stephen’s last year at Belvedere, we hear about another move (the family’s going to be kicked out by their landlord). Apparently they’ve also moved around between this moment and the initial "flight" to Dublin.
Mr. Dedalus supports Stephen’s wish to go to university, even if his wife doesn’t.
When Stephen is at University College, Mr. Dedalus seems to have hit rock bottom. He is apparently unemployed, and he basically lives upstairs and communicates with his family by whistling and shouting. His earlier tenderness and pride are apparently gone for the time being.
Stephen gives Cranly a brief rundown of his father’s history: a promising start as a medical student and athlete, followed by string of uncertain careers.
By the end of the novel, when Mr. Dedalus appears briefly to meet Davin, he appears to have pulled it together a little more; he has hopeful (but unrealistic) dreams for Stephen’s future.