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by James Joyce

The Citizen Timeline and Summary

Episode 12: Cyclops

  • Shortly after 5pm, Hynes and the anonymous narrator of the passage make their way to Barney Kiernan's pub.
  • In the pub, they find the citizen sitting up in the corner with his dog. He jokingly tells him to hand over their valuables, and Joe tells him its just friends here.
  • (There are a serious of parodies in this episode. Each one is denoted as such.)
  • PARODY: There is a long passage describing the citizen by brutally satirizing the heroic style of Irish myths. It also incorporates Homer's description of the Cyclops, Polyphemus, and it ends with a long mocking list of Irish heroes in which a number of world figures clearly not Irish are claimed by the island.
  • The citizen complains about the poor quality of the paper The Irish Independent. He begins reading out obituaries.
  • When the citizen's dog, Garryowen, growls and he tells it to shut up in Irish.
  • The citizen notices Bloom pacing around outside, and aggressively asks what he is doing. He refers to him as a "freemason" (12.87).
  • As Bloom enters, Garryowen growls at him. The citizen tells Bloom to come in.
  • Joe starts reading one of Alf Bergan's hangman letters. It's by a barber. When he's done, the citizen curses the barber.
  • The citizen turns the conversation to hangings of specific Irish nationalists, which leads to the citizen and Bloom getting into an argument.
  • The citizen becomes angry with Bloom. He toasts the memory of the dead, and says, "Sinn fein amhain!" (12.173). (It means, "ourselves alone..")
  • The citizen begins talking about the Irish language, and Bloom chips in about the antitreating league and how drink is the plague of Ireland.
  • The men make small talk. They discuss Nannetti, who is running for mayor. The citizen says "Hairy Iopas, that exploded volcano," thus denouncing Nannetti's Italian origins (12.212).
  • Hynes brings up the citizen's role in the Gaelic sports revival. He was a great shot-putter back in the day and the spokesman for athletics. Bergan didn't know it, but Bloom tells him it's well known.
  • When the talk turns to boxing, the citizen disparages the Irishman Myler Keogh because his father is known as a traitor to Ireland.
  • All the men laugh at Denis Breen wandering by. Bloom mentions how hard it must be for Mrs. Breen, but the citizen says it is her own fault for marrying a man out of his wits.
  • The citizen makes a harsh comment against immigrants, but Bloom lets on not to notice. He makes a few more, but Bloom continues to play dumb.
  • The citizen thinks Katherine O'Shea (women with whom Parnell was having an affair) is the cause of all their problems. He claims that the eventual acceptance of the Irish language is inevitable. The citizen curses England at length.
  • O'Molloy starts to say something about the Irish family, but the citizen insists that England is not part of the European family and that whatever civilization the country has was stolen from Ireland.
  • The citizen begins praising the natural resources of Ireland, and bemoaning the fact that they are all being stolen away. He blames the deforestation of Ireland on England, and Wyse Nolan agrees.
  • The citizen says that Irish trade will again rise to the fore. He takes the last swig from his pint, and he praises the parts of Ireland where the rebel groups are strong, and where people actively protest evictions that reduce the tenants to poverty.
  • A few moments later, the citizen begins ranting against the disciplinary practices in the British Royal Navy. He says that he can't believe this is the Navy the empire is supposedly based on.
  • The citizen looks forward to a time when Ireland can put up her own force, and react violently.
  • The citizen curses the French, and Lenehan jumps on board. Meanwhile, Bloom talks with Wyse Nolan about persecution, and what a nation is.
  • Turning on Bloom, the citizen asks what his nation is. Bloom says it is Ireland because he was born there. The citizen spits in disgust into the corner.
  • When Bloom goes on about persecution, the citizen asks if he is referring to the new Jerusalem. Bloom says he is talking about injustice.
  • As soon as Bloom leaves, the citizen begins making fun of his call to universal love.
  • Wyse admits that that is after all what they are told, but the citizen continues to make fun of Bloom.
  • The citizen goes on about how Cromwell used religion when he came to dominate England. He reads a story to them about a Zulu chief that visited England, and thanked the queen for giving him a Bible.
  • Lenehan bets that Bloom left to go collect money from his bet on Throwaway. He heard from Bantam Lyons that Bloom gave him the tip (a mistake), and assumes Bloom must also be cashing in. The citizen can't believe Bloom would bet.
  • Later, the citizen cries, "That's the new Messiah for Ireland" (12.489)!
  • The citizen doubts Bloom's manhood since Molly miscarried.
  • Hynes mentions he did have children, and the citizen wonders who fathered them. The narrator thinks that the citizen has hit on some truth without knowing it.
  • Martin asks them to be charitable, and they ask Martin to have a drink. The citizen continues to rail against Bloom.
  • When Bloom returns, the citizen throws a cutting remark at him. Cunningham, seeing things are about to get out of hand, quickly leads Bloom and his other companions out.
  • The citizen drunkenly stumbles to the doors as they are leaving and shouts, "Three cheers for Israel" (12.535).
  • The narrator thinks that there is always someone causing a ruckus, and as the citizen mockingly calls out at Bloom, Bloom stands up in the carriage and starts shouting back.
  • When Bloom says that Christ was a Jew, the citizen becomes furious. He rushes back in the bar to get the biscuit box that Doran was feeding his dog with.
  • The citizen rushes out and flings the tin at Bloom. It falls quite short.

Episode 15: Circe

  • When Bloom imagines himself the leader of the "new Bloomusalem," he imagines the citizen praising him.
  • Later, as Stephen becomes embroiled in a fight with Private Carr, Bloom imagines the citizen there egging him on with violent Irish fight songs.