Molly Bloom's Wife Character Analysis

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Infidelity forms a large part of Molly Bloom’s character arc. So much that throughout the novel we get snippets of information about her through the eyes of men she has allegedly been involved with intimately and from her own husband who lists her numerous alleged lovers. Even when she finally gets her own chapter, which although gives us a much fuller portrait of Molly, it again is largely concerned with her intimate relationships with various men. Joyce based Molly on his own wife Nora Barnacle, who, owing to malicious slander, he for some time believed to be unfaithful. Therefore, Molly’s portrayal as an adulterous wife might have been an attempt on Joyce’s part to try to understand better how a woman can be unfaithful and still love her…show more content…
As Brown puts it is a “contraceptive sexual relationship rather than sexual abstinence” (Brown 67). Therefore, it seems that the principal reason behind Moly’s reluctance to have full intercourse with her husband seems to be her fear of conceiving another child. Even though she seems to allow Boylan more freedom she is still afraid of getting pregnant: “in case any of it wasnt washed out properly the last time I let him finish it in me”…show more content…
This mirrors Bloom’s own acceptance of Molly’s infidelity in “Ithaca”. All of his wife’s lovers believe themselves to be special but they are actually “neither first nor last nor only nor alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity” (863). This is why Bloom manages to partially overcome his jealousy and envy of Boylan – Hugh will eventually lose his “vigour” and “commercial ability” just like all the others before him. Moreover, Bloom manages to acknowledge his wife as an independent and sovereign human being who has needs of her
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