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Our next shot of Bloom has him standing at the foot of the stairs, a little bit in the role of supplicant, leading up to the bedroom where Molly still reclines. You can see how he might have passed out of the kitchen, into the hallway, to the staircase with this floorplan. Look out for other moments in this episode where the staircase provides an important setting for domestic drama and how that works visually.
I think Bloom is rather at home with himself, but there are moments where he feels ill at ease, not quite present in his own skin, a little alienated. I suspect Joyce shows him having these moments more often than not in his own house, and I think this is one of those moments. Here any contact with his wife is blocked by the door, and there’s the telling line from the narrator: “When he had heard his voice say it.” There’s something almost disembodied about it.
Bloom is on the verge of going out into the world for the first time today: Is Bloom as man in the street, at play in the world, different from Bloom at home?