I have been brought back into the dreamworld of Finnegans Wake. These from Bernard Benstock's Joyce-Again's Wake:
But most often I suspect both Tim and Tom to imply the Egyptian God-Creator, Atem or Tem or Mut, whose expectoration on the dunghill created Man; thus: "he could hall himself Tem, too, if he had time to? You butt he could anytom" (88.35-36). This leads to the conjecture that Earwicker as master-builder Tim Finnegan and minkind-creator Atem and Father Time or Cronos subdivides himself into his children, the "anytoms," who as "Tom, Dick and Harry" expand into Everyone. This is borne out in
The danger, therefore, of thinking in terms of a single Tim-Tom figure, or even separate but clearly defined Tim and Tom, becomes manifold as we realize the multiplicity of allusions these names conjure up and the variety of possibilities that can result from them. A remote clue to the sameness of Tim and Tom may be extracted from A Portrait of the Artist where Simon Dedalus calls the curate with, "Tim or Tom or whatever your name is" (AP 95).
When dealing with the Earsicker children it is important to appreciate what appears to be an "inflationary" or "augmentation" or "exaggeration" approach taken by the author. On the largest scale the two boys and a single girl ("little Porter babes . . . The coeds, boytom thwackers and timbuy teaser" — 561.3-4) are as much indicative of all children ("all the chippy young cuppinjars cluttering round us, clottering for heir creams" — 621.15-16) as their parents are of all men and women. The three individuals when placed side by side for a series of ones become "the one one oneth of the propecies, Amnis Limina Permanent" (153.1-2), and are thus compounded into 111 children to whom Anna Livia distributes presents in chapter 8: elsewhere they are found as "one one and one ten and one hundred again" (101.34-35) and "a hundred and eleven others" (38.13) and even "Twenty of Chambers, Weighty Ten Beds and a Wan Ceteroom" (105.3-4).
As much as Earwicker is both a single promontory and a range of mountains, and Anna Livia is a river in its full state of fulfillment from source to sea, the three children expand to become all-inclusive. The inflationary process begins with the five characters with whom Earwicker is involved in Phoenix Park, the two girls and the three soldiers, apparently personifications of Issy, Shem, and Shaun. (It should not be overlooked, in order fully appreciate the "inflation" here, that the five characters besetting H.C.E. are themselves the five members of the Earwicker family: thus Anna Livia and Issy are the Temptresses, and Earwicker is one of the soldiers along with Shem and Shaun.) (25-26)