LEOPOLD BLOOM Biography - Fictional, Iconical & Mythological characters


Biography » fictional iconical mythological characters » leopold bloom


Name: Leopold Bloom                                                                 
Leopold Bloom is the protagonist of James Joyce's novel Ulysses, assuming the       
role of the 'Odysseus' character. Like the Greek hero in The Odyssey, he is         
absent at the beginning of the story, and does not feature until episode four of   
the novel (itself the opening episode of part two). Joyce introduces Bloom to       
the reader with the distinctive (and now semi-famous) words:                       
Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked     
thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with   
crustcrumbs, fried hencods' roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys       
which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.                     
Born in 1866, Bloom is the only son of Rudolf VirĂ¡g (a Hungarian from             
Szombathely who emigrated to Ireland, converted from Judaism to Protestantism,     
changed his name to Rudolph Bloom and, later, committed suicide) and of Ellen       
Higgins, an Irish Protestant. He married Marion (Molly) Tweedy on 8 October 1888.   
The couple have one daughter, Millicent (Milly), born in 1889; their son Rudolph   
(Rudy), born in December 1893, died after eleven days. The family live at 7         
Eccles Street in Dublin.                                                           
Ulysses focuses primarily on Bloom and on the contemporary odyssey he embarks       
upon through Dublin over the course of the single day of June 16, 1904, and the     
various types of people and themes he encounters. (Although episodes 1 to 3, as     
well as 9 and to a lesser extent 7, concentrate more on Stephen Dedalus, who in     
the plan of the book represents the Telemachus to Bloom's Odysseus.) Joyce         
aficionados celebrate June 16 as 'Bloomsday'.                                       
As he goes about his day, Bloom's thoughts primarily portray him as somewhat       
preoccupied with the affair between Molly and her manager (Hugh 'Blazes' Boylan);   
and, prompted by the funeral of friend Paddy Dignam, the death of his child,       
Rudy. His absence of a son may be what leads him to take a shine to Stephen,       
whom he goes out of his way to take care of in the book's latter episodes,         
rescuing him from a brothel, walking him back to his own house and even offering   
him a place there to study and work. Also encountered are his sometime             
chauvinistic attitudes, his penchant for voyeurism and his unfaithful epistolary   
alter ego, 'Henry Flower'. Bloom detests violence, and his relative indifference   
to Irish nationalism leads to dispute with some of his peers (most notably 'the     
Citizen' in the Cyclops chapter).