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Ulysses

Ulysses

by James Joyce

Marion (Molly) Bloom Timeline and Summary

Episode 4: Calypso

  • Bloom makes breakfast in bed for Molly. She doesn't treat him very well.
  • When Bloom brings her a letter from Boylan, she hides it.
  • She asks him about the meaning of the word "metempsychosis," and asks him to get her an erotic book while he is out.
  • Bloom knows she is going to sleep with Boylan later that day, but thinks that there is nothing he can do about it.

Episode 6: Hades

  • On the way to Dignam's funeral, the men discuss Molly and what a good singing voice she has.
  • Later, when John Henry Menton learns that Molly and Bloom are married he is astonished that she married such a fool. He remembers her as quite a woman.

Episode 7: Aeolus

  • As Crawford notes the gathering of talents in the newspaper office, Lenehan points out that if Molly Bloom were there she would represent the fine art of singing. He makes an off-color remark about Molly.

Episode 8: Lestrygonians

  • Bloom thinks back to Molly several times during the episode. In particular, he remembers coming home from a fundraiser with her and watching her before the mirror talking all the pins out of her hair.
  • Later, he recalls a time walking back late from a concert under the moonlight. He was with her and Boylan and he wonders if they were touching at the time.
  • Nosey Flynn asks after Molly in Davy Byrne's pub.
  • Bloom remembers a time when he and Molly made love in the tall grass at Howth's head. He thinks about the contrast between their relationship then and now.
  • After that, Bloom makes a real effort not to think about Molly and to distract himself from the fact that sometime this same afternoon she is going to sleep with Boylan.

Episode 10: The Wandering Rocks

  • All we actually see of Molly in this episode is her arm extend from a window to throw a coin down to a onelegged sailor that is begging on Eccles Street.
  • Yet we also hear a bawdy tale from Lenehan. He claims that one night, after a concert, he was groping Molly aggressively on the carriage ride home. He implies that she was more than willing, and laughs at the fact that Bloom was sitting just across from them looking out at the stars.

Episode 11: Sirens

  • Dedalus, Cowley and Dollard recall a story where Dollard forgot formal clothes for a concert. At the time, Molly and Leopold had a secondhand clothes shop. Dollard went there to get clothes, but the trousers he put on were far too tight. Dedalus makes an off-color remark about Molly.
  • When Bloom remembers the same episode, he recalls how hard Molly laughed after Dollard left. She loved the fact that you could see his privates right through his trousers, and thought about what all the women in the front row at the concert would think. She thinks that those balls are what give him such a good bass.
  • Boylan knocks on the door at 7 Eccles Street shortly after 4pm for his sexual rendez-vous with Molly.
  • Bloom thinks of Molly several times. In particular, he remembers when they first met playing musical chairs and he wonders if it was fate that it was just the two of them left at the end.
  • He thinks of a time when Molly asked him for sex, but can barely get the lines out.

Episode 12: Cyclops

  • While everyone is disparaging Bloom in Barney Kiernan's pub, Molly comes up several times. The narrator seems to know a good deal about the Blooms. He recalls a time when they were living in a hotel, and thinks he heard reports that Molly was very unhappy there.

Episode 13: Nausicaa

  • On the beach at Sandymount Strand a bit after 8pm, Bloom has just finished masturbating. As he composes himself his mind wanders. He thinks of Molly several times. In particular, he remembers their younger days together. He remembers being worth her out on Howth's Head and then thinks that Boylan is with her now.
  • Bloom's watch stopped at 4:30pm and he wonders if this is related to Molly and Boylan sleeping together.
  • Bloom recalls Molly's wit, and remembers her telling him about her first kiss with a lieutenant Mulvey by a Moorish wall.
  • Intermittently, he thinks about Molly and Milly and their family situation.

Episode 14: Oxen of the Sun

  • In a drunken discussion at the National Maternity Hospital, one of the men asks Bloom if he could let Molly die if the life of their child was in danger. He dodges the question.

Episode 15: Circe

  • As Bloom follows Stephen into Nighttown, he has a number of elaborate dream sequences. Molly appears in them two separate times.
  • First, as Bloom is dreaming in the street, Molly calls Bloom. He looks over to see an image of her in a fancy Turkish costume; she teases him as if he were a child.
  • Throughout the rest of Bloom's dream sequences, we see a number of hints that he was unfaithful to Molly in small ways.
  • Later, in a masochistic dream of Bloom's inside Bella Cohen's brothel, Boylan comes for his sexual rendez-vous with Molly, and Bloom is there as a servant.
  • Molly gets out and greets Boylan. Molly says that they can let Bloom watch on so he can pleasure himself.
  • Boylan and Molly moan, and Bloom cheers them on.

Episode 16: Eumaeus

  • While helping Stephen to the cabmen's shelter, Bloom thinks of Molly several times.
  • He recalls how her singing career started before she was even sixteen and wonders if her Spanish background is responsible for her passionate temperament. Bloom thinks of the way in which Molly is like Katherine O'Shea, the lover of Parnell.
  • Bloom briefly thinks that maybe Molly wasn't there when Boylan came over, but then dismisses the thought.
  • Bloom shows a picture of Molly to Stephen from eight years ago. Stephen can't help but notice how low-cut her dress is, and compliments Bloom on the picture (not the low cut dress). Bloom is quite proud.

Episode 17: Ithaca

  • In discussion with Stephen, Bloom alludes to Molly several times.
  • At one point, he thinks of all her improprieties and slips of mind and how he has tried to correct them.
  • He thinks that if Stephen were to become close with the family, he could give her Italian lessons and she could give him vocal lessons.
  • After Stephen leaves, Bloom goes up to bed with Molly. He notices that she and Boylan have made no effort to disguise their adultery.
  • Bloom kisses her butt. She asks him about his day, and he recounts his day (with important omissions). As Bloom nods off, she thinks that they have not had intercourse in over ten years.

Episode 18: Penelope

  • Sometime in the middle of the night (probably after 4am), Molly lies awake next to her husband Leopold. In eight sentences, we get her thoughts before she drifts off to sleep.
  • SENTENCE 1:
  • Molly thinks begrudgingly of Bloom and how he is often charitable without thinking of their own financial troubles.
  • She knows that he keeps pornographic pictures, that he is having an illicit written correspondence, and she thinks that the must have cheated on her at one point or another.
  • Molly also suspects that Bloom had a fling with their old servant, Mary Driscoll.
  • Molly reflects on how much she enjoys sex, and her mind turns to Boylan. She didn't like it when he smacked her on the behind. When she heard a thunderbolt while they lay in bed together, she wondered if they were being judged.
  • She thinks well of Boylan's sexual skill.
  • Her mind goes back to Bloom. She remembers how obsessed he was with her at first.
  • Molly thinks, "Id rather die 20 times over than marry another of their sex of course hed never find another woman like me to put up with him the way I do" (18.744).
  • SENTENCE 2:
  • Molly begins to think of Boylan at length.
  • She remembers how obsessed Bloom is with ladies' underwear.
  • Molly remembers a young lieutenant Gardner who kissed her good-bye at a canal lock and praised her Irish beauty.
  • The last time Bloom lost his job it was Molly who went and tried to get it back for him.
  • SENTENCE 3:
  • When Molly was pregnant with Milly, Bloom used to suck on her breasts and say that he wanted to put the milk right into the tea.
  • She remembers how good her orgasm with Boylan was this afternoon and looks forward to their next rendez-vous.
  • SENTENCE 4:
  • Molly thinks back to her youth in Gibraltar.
  • Molly is irritated that Milly only wrote her a card whereas she wrote Leopold a whole letter.
  • She hopes Boylan will write her a letter in the future, but doubts it.
  • SENTENCE 5:
  • Molly remembers her first love letter ever from Lieutenant Mulvey, who was also the first boy to kiss her.
  • Molly thinks that she never imagined her name would be Bloom. She thinks how far she might have gone with her life if she did not marry Bloom.
  • Molly shifts in bed and farts.
  • SENTENCE 6:
  • Molly can't believe Bloom stayed out until 4am. She would like to spank him for it.
  • It was Leopold's idea to send Milly off to photography school in Mullingar. Molly thinks maybe he did it because he knew her affair with Boylan was coming.
  • When Molly thinks of her daughter's beauty, she becomes jealous.
  • Molly can feel her period coming on, and she hobbles over to the chamberpot to let the blood run out of her.
  • SENTENCE 7:
  • Molly thinks of how in love she and Bloom used to be; now she thinks of him as a bore.
  • She suspects that Bloom went to see a prostitute.
  • Molly decides that she won't let Bloom fall into the clutches of other men, those who are nearly drinking themselves to death.
  • Molly fantasizes an affair with Stephen.
  • SENTENCE 8:
  • She thinks of how crude Boylan is in contrast to Stephen.
  • Molly again thinks how stupid it was of Bloom to kiss her bottom that night.
  • In Molly's opinion, the world would be a better place if women governed it. The problem, she thinks, is that men don't know what it's like to be a mother.
  • She thinks about the possibility of Stephen staying with them for awhile.
  • She imagines waking up and telling Bloom all about the affair with Boylan.
  • The book closes with Molly thinking back to the time that Bloom proposed to her at Howth's Head.
  • Her response: "well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could fell my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes" (18.783).

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