Bloom muses a little about his job, noting some good spots for posters and deriding a line of men with placards and top hats and remarking how women make better advertising.
It really is difficult not to read this book without noticing how women are presented. I know we live in a different era, but it’s interesting to note how many biases still exist to this day. Joyce’s era was supposed to be a more restrained time, but the underlying sexual stereotypes are still there, and despite what we might think, people were just as preoccupied with sex then as they are now. The forms in which it takes are different, but the same desire underlies so much of what Bloom does.
Of course when there’s no sex involved there’s death and birth. Bloom encounters Mrs. Breen, who fills him in on the gossip, including the state of one Mina Purefoy (Bloom had meant Mrs. Beaufoy when he broached the subject, but he lets it pass in typical Bloom fashion). It seems Mrs. Purefoy has spent the past three days in labor, confirming what Bloom had earlier observed regarding the Irish-Catholic predisposition for large families.
Interesting thing about this…Bloom’s preoccupations seem to be very basic. He thinks about getting a bite to eat somewhere while talking to Mrs Breen, he thinks about women, and he thinks about his job. His only deep thinking appears to be regarding the church, and most of that is outside-looking-in criticism. I would not call Mr. Bloom a deep thinker. He really is easy to understand, provided you can keep awake long enough to get through the descriptions of his thoughts.