UlyssesEssay

UlyssesEssay - In Ulysses, Leopold and Molly Blooms...

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In Ulysses, Leopold and Molly Bloom’s marriage is presented as dysfunctional, beginning with Bloom lamenting about his wife’s imminent affair later that afternoon. Bloom and Molly have not had sexual relations in over ten years, since the death of their infant Rudy. Both Bloom and Molly are still attracted to one another, but the grief from Rudy’s death and anxieties caused by his death have driven them apart. In the ten years of incomplete sex, Molly starts to resent Bloom for some of his strange habits – kissing her bottom and sleeping the wrong way on the bed – in addition to his failure to provide a stable environment with job changes and subsequent residence changes. In the “Penelope” episode, Molly slowly comes to recognize how exceptional a husband Bloom has been and how what she really longs for is their old relationship to return: he worships her aging body as is, writes her love letters, and can compare her beauty to “a flower of the mountain” (782). After her first physical act of infidelity, Molly realizes that, despite his flaws and quirks, she needs Bloom whether or not embodies masculinity; Bloom is the father of their children and ultimately the man she wants and loves. Bloom enjoys the tangible aspects of life. He often ponders the processes and actions of the body: eating, defecation, bathing, intercourse and masturbation. The way Bloom studies his genitals in the bathtub at the end of “Lotus Eaters” suggests he is conscious of his own body and he views his world in a unique way: “He saw his trunk and limbs riprippled…his navel, bud of flesh…the dark tangled curls of his bush floating…the limp father of thousands, a languid flower” (86). Not surprisingly, he also finds pleasure in the bodies of others, specifically Molly. Her body is a main source of arousal for Bloom. When returning home in “Penelope”, he greets her by passionately kissing “the plump mellow yellow smellow melons of her rump, on each plump melonous hemisphere…with obscure prolonged provocative melonsmellonous osculation” (735). Molly finds the gesture strange and unnatural “…any man thatd kiss a 1
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womans bottom Id throw my hat at him after that hed kiss anything unnatural…” (777). Much like the bath scene, he uses all five of his senses in an affectionate moment with his wife, embracing all of her. Furthermore, Bloom exhibits interest in aspects of Molly’s body not every husband
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UlyssesEssay - In Ulysses, Leopold and Molly Blooms...

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