© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by James Joyce

The Barmaids Timeline and Summary

Episode 11: Sirens

  • The two barmaids, Miss Lydia Douce and Miss Mina Kennedy, watch the viceregal cavalcade. When Miss Douce sees one of the men looking at her, she jokes with Miss Kennedy about how foolish men are.
  • A busboy brings the china and tea into the barmaids. He acts impertinent and they scold him.
  • The barmaids draw their tea, and Miss Douce has Miss Kennedy check to see if she is sunburnt. Miss Kennedy tells her no, but that she should have used lotion.
  • Miss Douce recounts going to Boyd's to get cream for her skin. She does an impression of the old fogey Mr. Boyd. Miss Kennedy begs her not to because she finds him so repulsive, but they both laugh.
  • The two barmaids continue to laugh hysterically thinking of Mr. Boyd as Bloom continues on his walk.
  • Simon Dedalus enters the Concert Room. He welcomes Miss Douce back because she has been on vacation. He flirts with her shamelessly, and she scolds him and calls him simple. He orders a whisky and she prepares it for him.
  • Lenehan comes in and asks the barmaids if Boylan has been in looking for him. They say that he has not.
  • Simon comments to the barmaid that the piano has been moved. Miss Douce tells him that the tuner was in today, a blind twenty year old.
  • Lenehan asks Miss Douce a question about the opera The Rose of Castille.
  • Miss Douce tells him, "Ask no questions and you'll hear no lies" (11.219).
  • Miss Douce reaches up for a glass, and Lenehan looks at her bust and gasps exaggeratedly.
  • Boylan tells her to grow, and she coyly tells him "Fine good in small parcels" (11.237).
  • Miss Douce puts Boylan's coin in the register as the clock strikes 4pm.
  • Lenehan talks Miss Douce into raising her skirts and snapping her garter on her thigh to sound the hour. She smiles at Boylan as she does so.
  • Miss Douce wonders why Boylan left so suddenly after her little display.
  • As the men sing, Miss Kennedy makes small talk with a patron.
  • Lidwell flirts with Miss Douce, and she tells him not to be so free with his language.
  • The barmaids are listening to a seashell. Lidwell listens in to the seashell, but the barmaid implies that she is not so lonely as he thinks she is.
  • Bloom gets up to go. He sees Miss Douce leaning down over the piano, and wonders what about Boylan appeals to so many women.
  • Bloom thinks about Mrs. Purefoy, and again looks at Lydia Douce.
  • Mina Kennedy talks with the tankard about what an incredible voice Dollard has.
  • Dedalus finds a tuning fork in the piano, and Lydia thinks that the tuner forgot it there.

Episode 15: Circe

  • In Bloom's masochistic fantasy, he imagines the two barmaids admiring Boylan's sexual technique while he plows Molly.