This paper provides a feminist criticism of Ulysses in an attempt to understand the relevance of Joyce and this novel today, as academia is experiencing a welcome pressure to move away from the study of ‘old white men.’ The interest of this paper is an interest in the alterity of the bodies of Ulysses. While once these bodies challenged the common discourse because they were ruled obscene, the bodies of the text continue to challenge both critics and a male literary tradition. As Joyce said about Ulysses, “my book is the epic of the human body.” Ulysses itself can be read as a body, and a body that is an ‘other’ to literary convention. The value of Ulysses in this context is in Molly, “Joyce’s female voice.” On all levels except, perhaps, express authorial intent, Ulysses is and revolves around the subversive, maternal body. And Molly, the subversive and embodied mother that she is, may be the final voice of this text in a way that Joyce himself is not.
Level of Honors
Moore, Arthur, "The Maternal Body of James Joyce's Ulysses: The Subversive Molly Bloom" (2019). Lawrence University Honors Projects. 138.