Stephen's ultimatum, "If he stays on here I am off" parallels the beginning of Homer's Odyssey, where Telemachus tries to get rid of Penelope's suitors, and fails. Athena, disguised as Mentor, advises him to take action by leaving Ithaca to look for news of his father. In the same way, Stephen feels belitted by Mulligan's friendship with Haines. He resolves to leave.