by James Joyce
Character Role Analysis
Bloom is, quite clearly, the central figure of the story. Though it starts off in The Telemachiad with its focus on Stephen Dedalus, after the third episode it turns its focus upon Bloom. The biggest challenge for Bloom on this particular June day is to make it to the end without falling to pieces over the fact that his wife is sleeping with fellow singer Blazes Boylan. But as we follow Bloom through the day, we also see him face a number of other challenges: trying to sell an ad to the paper, fighting anti-Semitism in Dublin, rescuing the young Dedalus from what could be a disastrous episode with an English constable. Much of the point of Ulysses is: Leopold Bloom is the protagonist. That is, this ordinary Jewish man who's somewhat down on his luck is going to be the hero – the Odysseus figure – of this 20th century masterpiece.