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Character Role Analysis

Molly Bloom

It's well known that Molly Bloom is modeled mainly on Joyce's wife Nora, with whom he was passionately in love. Nora was from rural Ireland – the West – and, in contrast to Joyce, she was not at all educated. She didn't have much respect for his writing. In her opinion, he should have stuck to music. Yet Joyce worshipped Nora, and something about her fascinated him. There was a natural-ness to her, a frankness, that he himself lacked. For Joyce, the desire to understand something of his wife's inner life motivates a great deal of his writing. In Ulysses, even though we don't actually meet Molly until the final episode, we see that she is constantly in Bloom's thoughts and that she's almost omnipresent in gossip about town. The book ends in her voice, and though Bloom is the protagonist, you realize that there is no story without the existence of Molly Bloom. She seems to underlie everything else that happens in the novel.