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Update from Sirens and Cyclops

Wednesday, October 14, 2009; 02:53 am Leave a comment Go to comments

To continue to play with the idea of the moon as a feminine symbol in Ulysses, I would like to pinpoint a couple of instances that directly link the idea of moon as feminine with Bloom as feminine. First of all, we have the quote in 12.1801 of “If the man in the moon was a jew jew jew.” This comment not only effectively links Bloom with the moon, it also further illustrates him as an Other, associated with distance, night, and obscurity. But at least he’s a MAN in the moon.

Secondly, as Bloom/Elijah escapes from his tormentors in a chariot of fire, Bloom is described as “having the raiment of the sun, fair as the moon” (12.1913). This description is odd in the first place because of the reference to the sun; throughout the novel, Bloom has in many cases been primarily identified by his dark clothing, pragmatically because he has yet to change from his mourning, but used to distance him as of another race. Additionally, the “fair as the moon” comment again differs from his characterization as a dark, foreign figure. Coming from the pale-skinned Irish, “fair” is a mark of similarity. However, “fair” is usually a distinctly feminine description, and linked with a comparison to the arguably feminine moon, further identifies Bloom as a feminine character, which Blamires promises will be expanded in later episodes.

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