Dramatis Personae | IV: Calypso

The everyman hero of Ulysses, Joyce’s reworking of Odysseus.  Bloom is 38 years old, Hungarian Jewish from his father (Rudolf Virag) and Irish Catholic from his mother (Ellen Higgins).  He currently works as an ad canvasser for the newspaper The Freeman’s Journal, but he’s had other odd jobs throughout his life.  He spends the day of June 16 wandering around Dublin:  going to a funeral, checking in at the office, visiting the National Library, walking on the beach.  He’s a deeply human and compassionate character, and carrying around with him two heavy emotional burdens:  grief over the death of his infant son Rudy 11 years before the action of the novel, and anxiety over his impending cuckoldry by his wife Molly, with whom he has not had full sexual relations since their son died.
The blond 15-year-old daughter of Leopold and Molly, their only surviving child.  Milly has been sent to Mullingar to work as a photographer’s assistant and seems to be developing a relationship with Alec Bannon; her burgeoning sexuality makes Bloom a little uncomfortable.  She only appears in the novel through a letter and in memory and reflection.
The voluptuous and flirtatious wife of Bloom.  Molly (whose full name is Marion, maiden name Tweedy) is a 33-year-old singer.  She was raised in Gibraltar by an Irish military man; her mother, Lunita Laredo, is a dim and exotic memory, possibly a dancer, possibly something more questionable.  She spends virtually the entire day in bed, first alone after Bloom leaves, then with her lover “Blazes” Boylan, and then during her nighttime monologue in the final chapter.
Rudy died 11 years ago at the age of only 11 days.  Since his death, the Blooms have not had full sexual relations; both Blooms still mourn him, but in different ways and without really talking about it.  Leopold especially feels the absence of a son.  Rudy appears for the most part in memory and reflection.
Boylan is Molly’s manager and soon-to-be lover; he is arranging her latest tour and they are using his needing to bring her new music as a cover story for their tryst later in the day.  He’s depicted as something of a player.  He first appears in “Calypso” as a “bold hand”:  Bloom discovers a letter from him in the hallway of 7 Eccles Street.  Bloom’s and Boylan’s paths intersect throughout the day as Bloom travels away from his house and Boylan travels towards it, but they never speak.
Molly’s father, who appears in memory and reflection. It’s not completely clear what rank he really held, but it probably isn’t as high as Bloom remembers; Bloom seems to recall him as a rather masculine figure.  Tweedy raised his daughter during early childhood and adolescence in Gibraltar and then brought her to Dublin.  
The Pussens is the Blooms’ rather vocal and demanding cat. She has a taste for kidney, milk, and mice. Leopold Bloom describes her as stupid, vindictive, and cruel, but he nevertheless treats her well.
 
The Pussens holds an instinctive fear of chickens and is an accomplished jumper, capable of jumping over Bloom's head.    

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