This episode is structured by mocked-up headlines from a newspaper. It begins with sounds of trams and beer barrels being rolled on pavements. Bloom is in the newspaper offices and is given an old clipping of an advertisement for Alexander Keyes. Bloom takes it to the Telegraph office, which is in the same building, and goes through the printing works. Bloom asks Nannetti to place the advertisement and he agrees, but wants the design. Bloom enters the Telegraph office, where he has heard laughter, in order to ring Keyes. Simon Dedalus, Ned Lambert and MacHugh are present and have been laughing at a speech. When J.J. O'Molloy enters, he inadvertently hits Bloom with the door. Bloom is not included when they consider going for a drink together.
Lenehan bumps against Bloom and Bloom decides to go to the auction rooms to find Keyes. The newsboys follow Bloom out in the yard and mock him; the men in the office notice this.
Stephen gives Deasy's letter to the editor (Crawford) and Crawford tells him he wants him to write something for the newspaper. Bloom rings the office and the editor tells MacHugh to tell him to go to hell. MacHugh can be heard telling Bloom to come across.
After discussions about art and Jews not accepting 'our culture', Stephen relates a parable, of his own making, of Anne Kearns and Florence MacCabe, the plum eaters.
Bloom returns having spoken to Keyes and asks Crawford what he should tell him. Crawford says he should tell him 'to kiss my arse'. Bloom sees young Dedalus (Stephen) and notices he is wearing a good pair of boots today.
Stephen then continues his story about the two women and their frustration about seeing Nelson's pillar.
This episode enhances its modern setting of newspaper offices by depending on satirized newspaper headlines for its structure. The noise of technology, and of the new century, is brought about with the initial references to trams and this is confirmed with the sounds of the printing works.
The reiteration of Bloom's distance from other men is made when he is bumped against, mocked by boys and belittled by the editor. Despite this treatment, heroic Bloom perseveres and kindly (and paternally) notes how he is pleased that Stephen is wearing a good pair of boots.
Ulysses: Novel Summary: Chapter Two - Episode 7