Leopold Bloom imagines a bath

Enjoy a bath now: clean trough of water, cool enamel, the gentle tepid stream. This is my body.

He foresaw his pale body reclined in it at full, naked, in a womb of warmth, oiled by scented melting soap, softly laved. He saw his trunk and limbs riprippled over and sustained, buoyed lightly upward, lemonyellow: his navel, bud of flesh: and saw the dark tangled curls of his bush floating, floating hair of the stream around the limp father of thousands, a languid floating flower.


lotus flowerReflecting back on Lotus Eaters the theme that resonates most with me is frustrated passion. I can’t think of a better way to say it. Throughout the chapter Bloom and other characters are frustrated by impulses they can not or will not act on. I find it very interesting that in his imagined bath vision Bloom sees his manhood not as any of the traditional symbols that you would assume but rather a flower which is far more commonly used to represent female reproductive organs. Even in his own fantasy Bloom has emasculated himself. I may have taken some liberties with drawing Bloom in a full lotus field but it struck me as more interesting that just drawing him in the bath. It is an imagined scene so why not?