Bloom is having a rest from a rather busy and draining day. In The Odyssey, a shipwrecked, storm-tossed, and exhausted Odysseus washes ashore in Phaeacia, where Princess Nausicaa finds him naked and brackish. As Ulysses ventures into ever stranger and more disparate literary territories, its styles and voices will continue to shift, shaping our experience of the plot. That said, there is some debate over the narrative voice and perspective here. If you are interested in reading further, Karen Lawrence is brilliant on these topics. Her characterization is heavily adorned with references to beauty products, fashion, and efforts at physical self-improvement almost like an amalgamation of ads from a beauty magazine.
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Bloom is having a rest from a rather busy and draining day. In The Odyssey, a shipwrecked, storm-tossed, and exhausted Odysseus washes ashore in Phaeacia, where Princess Nausicaa finds him naked and brackish. As Ulysses ventures into ever stranger and more disparate literary territories, its styles and voices will continue to shift, shaping our experience of the plot. That said, there is some debate over the narrative voice and perspective here.
If you are interested in reading further, Karen Lawrence is brilliant on these topics. Her characterization is heavily adorned with references to beauty products, fashion, and efforts at physical self-improvement almost like an amalgamation of ads from a beauty magazine. The first half of the episode, with its focalization on Gerty, is a linguistic confluence of social conventions imposed on women, all of which are constructed by men, for men.
Now, we should interrogate the gender dynamics of a male author Joyce , whose record includes some misogynistic statements, writing about the attitudes, perspectives, and proclivities of women.
Feminist criticism has much to say about Gerty. But back to the episode. After her physical description, Gerty is characterized by her sorrow over her faltering romance with Reggy Wylie and her daydreams about an ideal husband: a devoted, mature gentleman. Tommy Caffrey finishes peeing and a conflict arises between the boys over the ball, which Cissy Caffrey solves through the path of least resistance.
Edy Boardman thinks Tommy too often gets his way. This man is Bloom, having left the Dignam home at nearby 9 Newbridge Avenue. While his work for the day is done, he is not yet ready to go home and see Molly after her act of infidelity, so he has walked to the strand for a quiet rest.
She also blames alcohol for the death of Mr. It becomes clear that Gerty is a lovely, good daughter. Jacky Caffrey kicks the ball down the beach, and Bloom retrieves it. A quarterback Bloom is not. The ball, having missed its target, sweeps down to Gerty, who tries to kick it. She misses on first try, embarrassing her, but makes solid contact on her second effort. Gerty silently expresses her frustration that the little ones are out too late and spoiling an otherwise serene evening.
The text dips back into the interpolation technique and shows us a glimpse of the church service. Then Gerty bobs her foot up and down and thinks about her stockings, when and where she bought them, and notices that Bloom is eying them with appreciation for their, ahem, quality. She takes off her hat to show off her lustrous hair and resets it at an angle whereby she can surreptitiously see from under the brim.
Gerty deflects, saying she was wondering what time it was. Cissy volunteers to go ask Bloom if he has the time. At her approach, Bloom nervously takes his hand out of his pocket eeeh. An interpolation shows the goings-on in the church. The women and boys leave, a bell rings, and a bat flies through the air. She wonders about Bloom - is he a widower? She wrestles with social pressures for women in romantic relationships.
After another interpolation in the church, fireworks begin to explode in the sky. The girls call for Gerty to join them in running down the beach for a better view, but she can see well enough from her current spot - and she wants to stay close to Bloom, especially now that they will be alone.
She leans back under the pretense of seeing the fireworks, revealing her legs to Bloom. She leans further back, revealing more of herself, and Bloom, whose hand has been in his pocket, ejaculates. I know. She smiles at him sweetly as she gets up to join her group. As she walks away, we get the big reveal: Gerty MacDowell is lame and walks slowly with a limp. He does not seem to feel guilty or ashamed at all. He examines his own attractiveness perhaps betraying some body image issues?
Why not? All a prejudice. I think so. All that for nothing. Bold hand: Mrs. When he checked his watch for Cissy, he noticed that it had stopped at , which makes him wonder if that was the moment in time when Boylan and Molly consummated the affair. He deals with the mess on his clothes, offers some further ideas and observations about women misguided, insightful, and otherwise , and recalls an experience with a prostitute.
Here, we are privy to his thoughts when his guard is down and his mind is tired but relaxed. His thoughts return to Gerty and he assumes she knew what he was doing to himself. He shifts his thinking back to Gerty and admires her stockings. A firework goes off, and he sees Gerty, far down the beach, look back at him one last time. He notes the unspoken connection that formed between himself and Gerty and wonders whether she might be his erotic penpal - perhaps Gerty is using Martha Clifford as a pen name in the same way that Bloom is using Henry Flower He thinks about his poor throwing arm, criticizes Cissy for giving the baby an empty bottle to suck as a pacifier because it makes the baby gassy - which is true He thinks about drunk husbands, romantic destiny, and marriages between unlikely pairs.
He also continues to deal with the mess he made in his pants. He again thinks about the coincidence of his watch stopping at what he imagines was the exact time Boylan and Molly had sex and engages in some shaky scientific conjecture regarding magnetism. He takes a sample of his own smell, which is at this moment dominated by the lemon scent of the bar of soap in his pocket. Because he was planning to return later, he did not pay for the soap, which bothers him.
He contemplates the psychology of credit and business - how much of a bill should a business owner allow a customer to build before calling it due? He then reprises the mystery of the man in the brown macintosh and anticipates rain. As the sun sets, Bloom notices the Bailey lighthouse at Howth and thinks about light and optical effects.
He sees a bat that he suspects left the belfry of the St. He ponders various animals. Because the weight of the water, no, the weight of the body in the water is equal to the weight of the what? Or is it the volume is equal to the weight? I have it! Good job, Bloom! After some thoughts regarding birds and insects and a reference to the bee sting he suffered , he ponders the life of sailors and superstitions. We also get a fanciful image of Howth anthropomorphized, nestling into bed for sleep and winking at Mr.
He then thinks of children generally and then Milly specifically. He recalls different stages of her maturation. As the hour approaches, Bloom decides to get moving, realizes he has missed the performance of Leah at the Gaiety Theater, then considers going home but decides not to because he is not yet ready to face Molly. He decides to visit the Maternity Hospital in Holles Street to check on Mina Purefoy, hoping she has finally delivered the baby. He reminds himself to fulfill his promise to Mrs.
Dignam regarding her insurance policy with Scottish Widows, which makes him think of widows generally. He half-recalls a dream from the night before involving Molly, red slippers, and pants. Same one? How does Bloom define himself? The close reader of the novel can follow each jump and discern the references. The narrator closes the episode with the bat flying to and fro, bells chiming , an interpolation of the priests having dinner after the mass, and an interpolation of Gerty MacDowell thinking of Bloom.
Bloom is many things - benevolent, physical, charitable, Jewish, a freemason, a husband, a father, an ad man, a child of an immigrant - but the novel here seems to insist that he is now a cuckold and will be forever more. Works Cited Hayman, David.
Ulysses, the Mechanics of Meaning. Wisconsin, Lawrence, Karen R. University Press of Florida, Edited by Lawrence Rainey. Blackwell,
Episode 13 - Nausicca
Joyce gains continuity with the previous episode, "The Cyclops," despite the time differential by continuing several motifs from that chapter, the most prominent of which is the arc. The rising and falling of the biscuit tin that was flung by the Citizen is reflected in the various ascents and declines in "Nausicaa! Also, the form of the episode is as simple as its style Joyce called it — perhaps knowingly — a "marmalady" style, a sticky style. The first part of the episode deals with Gerty; the second, with Bloom and his ruminations. Parallels with Homer are not difficult to recognize. Odysseus, washed ashore on the land of the Phaeacians, was awakened from sleep when he was struck by a ball misthrown by Princess Nausicaa and her friends; the resourceful and beautiful young girl had come to the shore to play and wash some clothing. Gerty knows exactly what she is doing in "seducing" Bloom — the dark and mournful foreign stranger — as she leads him to a moment of communication, albeit an ultimately unproductive one.
Cissy and Edy tend to the babies and occasionally tease Gerty, who is sitting some distance away. The narrative sympathetically describes Gerty as beautiful, and outlines the commercial products she uses to maintain her looks. Gerty daydreams of marriage and domestic life with a silent, strong man. The toddlers kick their ball too far. Gerty tries to kick the ball to Cissy but misses. She fantasizes that he is a foreigner in mourning who needs her comfort. Gerty displays her ankles and her hair for Bloom, knowing she is arousing him.