This episode begins at school, where Stephen is teaching history and tells the boys a riddle about a fox burying his grandmother – this tale recurs through the novel. The boys then leave for hockey, but one lingers. Stephen thinks how the boy is ugly and futile, but his mother would have loved him and this leads him to think of his own mother again.
Mr Deasy, the headmaster, asks Stephen to wait in his study as it is Stephens pay day. After paying him, he advises Stephen to save money like the English and it becomes clear that Deasy is pro-English and anti-Republican. He then asks Stephen to take a letter and a copy to the press for publication: the letter is concerned with foot and mouth disease.
Deasy also reveals his anti-semitic views (as Haines does in Telemachus) and Stephen attempts to counteract them. This anti-semitism is demonstrated when Deasy stereotypes Jewish merchants: As sure as we are standing here the jew merchants are already at their work of destruction. Old England is dying. Deasy also blames women for the problems of the world and thus demonstrates his bigotry and narrow way of thinking all the more.
As Stephen is leaving, Deasy runs after him to tell him that Ireland has the honor of being the only country that has not persecuted the Jews and this is because, he says, Ireland never let them in.
This episode focuses on Stephen at work teaching and his conversation with his headmaster, Mr Deasy. This is a revealing text for demonstrating the bigotry which Bloom faces as a Jewish man and also adds weight to seeing him as the outsider of the novel. Both Haines and Deasy use stereotypical rants against Jewish people, which depend on the notion that Jews have undermined a nation (England in both instances) and have been self-serving in their greedy for money.
This is also of interest for the purposes of the plot as Deasys desire to have his letter printed is the reason Stephen and Bloom meet later for the first time this day in the newspaper offices.