Student responses to Molly Bloom
DOI link for Student responses to Molly Bloom
Student responses to Molly Bloom book
In one of the earliest reviews of Ulysses, published in The Freemanin New York on 19 July 1922, Mary Colum, a contemporary of Joyce at university and later a friend in Paris, made what seems now a quite extraordinary assertion that ‘The revelation of the mind of Marion Bloom in the last section would doubtless interest the laboratory, but to normal people it would seem the exhibition of the mind of a female gorilla who has been corrupted by contact with humans’. Such a comment seems almost wholly foreign to us today, in part because Molly has been accepted as a major character in the novel on an equal footing with Stephen and Bloom, and in part because we now recognise Molly as one of our own, closer to our own psychology than to people in the 1920s, who still retained remnants of a late-Victorian, Darwinian sensibility. The remark, however, reminds us that while Molly has been on the receiving end of many insults – few stranger than Mary Colum’s – she continues to survive her critics and face them down.