Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #7

"Never about the runaway wife coming back, however much devoted to the absentee. The face at the window!" (16.79)

Here, in "Eumaeus," W.B. Murphy's tales of his time at sea get Bloom thinking about classic myths and stories of seagoing men (e.g. from the Odyssey). He observes that the stories all focus on the man's adventure, but never give us a sense of what it's like from the wife's point of view. What is the view of love promoted by a book like the Odyssey? Is it sexist? How does adding the image of a "waiting" woman give us a fuller and more complete picture of love? What are the particular challenges of the lost traveler in love? What about those of the sedentary wife, not knowing about her husband's whereabouts?

Quote #8

What instances of deficient mental development in his wife inclined him in favour of the lastmentioned (ninth) solution?

In disoccupied moments she had more than once covered a sheet of paper with signs and hieroglyphics which she stated were Greek and Irish and Hebrew characters. She had interrogated constantly at varying intervals as to the correct method of writing the capital initial of the name of a city of Canada, Quebec. She understood little of political complications, internal, or balance of power, external… (17.92)

In "Ithaca," the narrator lists a number of ways in which Bloom disapproves of his wife's intelligence. Are these things incompatible with love? How far have they come from the passion of their early years that Molly remembers in "Penelope?" How would you describe the love that can accommodate all these complaints against one's love within it? Are husbands and wives more like lovers or friends?

Quote #9

It must be real love if a man gives up his life for her that way for nothing I suppose there are few men like that left its hard to believe in it though unless it really happened to me the majority of them with not a particle of love in their natures to find two people like that nowadays full up of each other that would feel the same way as you do theyre usually a bit foolish in the head. (18.767)

These are Molly's thoughts on love after reflecting on a boy that her daughter Milly was bringing home on a regular basis. What does it say about Molly that she thinks most men don't have "a particle of love in their natures?" Could this attitude grow out of her experience with Bloom or is it just a realistic observation?

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