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2017

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Ambiguity

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Blurring The Lines: The Ambiguity Of Gender And Sexuality In Ulysses, Samantha Heffner Jan 2017

Blurring The Lines: The Ambiguity Of Gender And Sexuality In Ulysses, Samantha Heffner

The Expositor: A Journal of Undergraduate Research in the Humanities

One of the most memorable episodes in James Joyce’s Ulysses occurs in the “Circe” chapter, when Leopold Bloom is transformed into a woman during his masochistic encounter with Bella Cohen, who herself transforms into a man. This gender swap is often cited as the culmination of Bloom’s feminine nature in the novel—not only is he the “new womanly man,” but he has also literally become a new woman (16.1798-1799). Such a confusion of gender has inspired a wide array of responses as critics attempt to wrestle with this rather confusing—if endearing—modern Ulysses. Bloom’s ...