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Ulysses

Ulysses

by James Joyce

Sex Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Wanted smart lady typist to aid gentleman in literary work. I called you naughty darling because I do not like that other world. Please tell me what is the meaning. Please tell me what perfume does your wife. Tell me who made the world. (8.110)

As Bloom passes the Irish Times, he remembers that he put an ad in the paper for a lady typist. That is how he met Martha Clifford with whom he is now carrying on an illicit (though relatively tame) correspondence. What does it say about Bloom that he lives out his sexual life through written letters? Does language itself become sexualized for Bloom? In what ways is he repressed and why?

Quote #2

Ah!

Mr. Bloom with careful hand recomposed his wet shirt. O Lord that little limping devil. Begins to feel cold and clammy. Aftereffect not pleasant. Still you have to get rid of it someway. They don't care. Complimented perhaps. (13.91-92)

In this scene, Bloom has just finished masturbating to Gerty MacDowell. How does Joyce stylistically capture the down feeling after an orgasm? Hint: notice sentence length. Also, Bloom has just finished masturbating in public. Is he a disgusting man or is this a forgivable act? Has he disrespected Gerty? If so, how?

Quote #3

MARY DRISCOLL
"He surprised me in the rere of the premises, your honour, when the missus was out shopping one morning with a request for a safety pin. He held me and I was discoloured in four places as a result. And he interfered twict with my clothing." (15.191)

Mary Driscoll, an ex-servant of the Bloom's, is one of the first women to testify against Bloom as a lewd man in his masochistic court fantasy. To an extent, her story is later corroborated by Molly. In general, it seems that the imaginary charges brought against Bloom are mainly a result of his guilt over his sexual desires. Why do people in general (and Bloom in particular) feel guilty about their sexuality? What is there to feel guilty about, if anything?

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