Just as you expect with Joyce things become that little bit harder to follow as the book moves to its conclusion. You can either read this word by word, line by line, which I did last night with a reading light in bed, or like a normal novel. The problem is that you feel you loose something in both approaches. Anyway here is the general gist of the last pages of the book.
Bullet points between pages 228 – 276
* Stephen is seen very much as one of the intellectual forces by his peers and he seems to spend his waking hours thinking about things in terms of poetry and he dreams about a girl that he sent some love poetry to
* He is on the fringes of not just his friends but also his family and the evidence of the latter comes when he confides in a friend that he has refused to attend the Easter services with his mother despite it hurting her
* He seems to have his eye on a girl who also visits the library but seems to share that desire with a friend Cranly, who also tries to catch her eye as she leaves and he stresses when he goes days without seeing her
* Eventually he bumps into her and they have a cryptic exchange of words that leaves him liking her even more as he heads off
* In the end he seems to have escaped/dwells in a world half dominated by literature and reality with the former inspiring his actions and behaviour in the latter
Bearing in mind that when we next meet Stephen he has lost his mother, although there are some Joycism's already with him telling a friend she had ten children and in Ulysses it is described as fifteen, it provides the groundwork for why he would be full of a longing for her because of the way he regreted hurting her over religious differences when she was alive.
Full review to come by mid-week...