I took this photo of O'Neill's Pub, Suffolk St., Dublin, Ireland 27 May, 2010.---that was the one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you yes that was why I liked him--- (from Molly Bloom's soliloquy in the novel, Ulysses, by James Joyce)
Happy Bloomsday! In James Joyce's novel, Ulysses, Leopold Bloom epitomizes the concept of circuitous paths, as he meanders through the streets of Dublin on the 16th of June, 1904. The following is an excerpt from a paper I presented in Dun Laoghaire last year. It will be a chapter in a book to be published this year with Peter Lang Publishers and illustrates the use of iconic realism in James Joyce's Ulysses as well as in the medieval poem, Roman de la Rose. The following excerpt from that chapter discusses the character, Molly Bloom, who speaks out in the final 'Penelope' chapter through 40 pages of stream of consciousness and not a punctuation point to be found... an amazing read!
In his novel, Ulysses, James Joyce illustrates parochial dissonance by means of Victorian feminine perceptions throughout Molly Bloom’s soliloquy in the final chapter of his epic tale. Using stream of consciousness in a manner unparalleled at this novel’s publication, Joyce leads his audience to the entrance of the sphere of Molly’s mind, taking the reader to every crevice of her feminine consciousness. Joyce defies the social stigma of women during this era as he interweaves Molly Bloom’s expression of a unique feminine point of view.
Through Molly’s voice, he seeks answers to his own challenge with a feminine defiance of human weakness. The Ireland in which James Joyce lives is in the midst of revolution. As Joyce leaves his ancestral home, he allows his own genius to flourish. He sees the result of the male world’s design for women and seeks to illuminate the world with its significance. His personal associations with women frame the female portrait of Molly Bloom, as he places Molly in the midst of the Victorian era, with its focus on proper placement of gender roles, customs and even nations, carries the burden of living with this regimented philosophical point of view. Joyce designs the person of Molly to reveal traits that originate from conventional Victorian masculine ideas of how a woman should act or think. Joyce writes Molly as one whose actions have a tendency to focus upon her sexual desires. Molly, like Ireland, is a contradiction of human spirit. On one hand, she is independent, wild, yet she depends on the ruler of her heart for identity.