Ulysses

The GODDESS, the MATERNAL WHORE and the VINDICTIVE VIRGIN: Powerful Women in One Hundred Years of Solitude and Ulysses

Families in Ulysses and One Hundred Years of Solitude are often breeding grounds for distortion and curses, not of the stability and progress expected of most kin relations. Genealogies are either perverted or unsuccessful: The BuendÃa line, with its unrelenting spawning of repetitive names and its replicating, incestuous procreative urges, creates freaks like the final pig-tailed infant, doomed clones like the 17 Aurelianos and insanity in Josà Arcadio BuendÃa and Colonel Aureliano BuendÃa. Even the opposite situation in Ulysses, with the stunted pseudo- family left by May Dedalus' death and Bloom's futile fatherly fantasies, suggest that relationships lead to regression and failure. Yet everyone is drawn inexorably back to this 'original source', this maelstrom of disruption. The family fold is so insular, inescapable - magical intervention lures Aureliano Segundo back to his home after he miraculously survives the plantation massacre, Bloom returns to Molly and their unhappy bed after an epic jaunt around Dublin - that it is a wonder how these families persevered for as long as they did.

It is clear, at least, that fatherly guidance and paternal strength is not the sustaining force here. As Patricia Tobin...

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