Will the Potato Bloom?: A Critical Analysis of Food Imagery in James Joyce's "Ulysses"

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2014-01-15
Authors
Rathe, Annetta
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English
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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"I am doing good to others" (James Joyce, Ulysses, 370). This phrase neatly summarizes Leopold Bloom's behavior on June 16th, for throughout June 16th he does try to do good to others, and is somewhat successful in his attempts. He chiefly tries to accomplish this by giving food or charitable acts. Bloom is an outsider in the Dublin community, and he uses food to initiate or maintain his relationships. Food imagery pervades Bloom's life, and Joyce clearly defines in Ulysses that Bloom is constituted by food. Bloom is also a nurturer in the novel, and although he is repeatedly rejected for most of the day, he continues to try to find his place in society and at home through nurturing. Food is the focus of this thesis, and I will discuss Bloom's affinity with food. I will also investigate Bloom's deeper relation­ ship with food in terms of communion, community, and paternity. The thesis will conclude with the transformation in Bloom, and will show that Bloom finally becomes a complete nurturer near the end of the novel on June 17th.
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42 pages
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