Thursday, April 24, 2008

Together: Bloom and Stephen (episode 17)

In Ithaca, the novel's 2nd to last episode, the reader is finally exposed to a situation where Bloom and Stephen are in a private, intimate environment where they can actually talk and interact on a one-on-one basis. However, it seems that Bloom is more in invested in the potential father-son relationship between himself and Stephen than Stephen is aware. The whole day Bloom has been essentially watching Stephen from afar and now that he is finally alone with Stephen he is attempting to foster a relationship between the two of them.
Although Stephen does reciprocate to an extent, the reader does not see the same anticipation in Stephen that Bloom posseses for spending time with Stephen. Unlike Telemachus who is searching for Odysessus, his long lost father, Stephen has stumbled across Bloom unintentionally as a source for parental guidance. On the other hand, Bloom's journey throughout the day has been in pursuit of Stephen
and has been driven by an underlying desire to serve as a potential father figure to a young man in need of guidance.
For Bloom, this episode not only mirrors Odysseus long awaited return to Ithaca because Bloom has also physically returned home but it also reflects Odysseus reemergence into the role he left as Telemachus' father. Odysseus is finally in a position to be Telemachus' father for the first time similar to how Bloom has finally connected enough with Stephen in this episode to provide him with advice and create a potential relationship that can be sustained in future days to come.

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