Episode Eighteen: The Female Perspective in Joyce's Ulysses

James Joyce’s Ulysses is unlike any other novel. With a variety of characters, a stream-of-consciousness narrative, parodies, allusions, and obscenities, Joyce’s eighteen-episode novel illustrates only a single Dublin day. While the first thirteen episodes present a substantial number of questions, confusion, and comedic relief, the remaining five experiment with alternative narrative techniques. From the form of a play script in Episode Fifteen to the question-and-answer narrative in Episode Seventeen, Joyce explores various methods, challenging the conventional modes of storytelling. The final episode, Episode Eighteen (also known as “Penelope”), delivers the novel from the female perspective of Molly Bloom. Molly Bloom, Leopold Bloom’s sexually flirtatious wife, narrates her feminine viewpoint on assorted events and her relationship with Bloom in an eight-sentence, 37-page collection of lethargic, unpunctuated words, thoughts, and opinions. Through this episode, Joyce displays an eccentric form of literature, creating an epic culmination to his legendary masterpiece. Additionally, Molly Bloom’s feminine expressivity illustrates Joyce’s perception of women and fully encompasses their role within the novel.

While the great...

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