Monday, November 9, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 39: Reference to James Joyce's 'Ulysses'

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

Kevin and Will shop for groceries. Kevin isn't sure what kind of coffee his dad likes, but he is certain as to what kind his mother drinks (it turns out Will and Molly like the same brand).

Let us consider the grocery store scene in Captiva, in which Will and Kevin are conversing. Going by the contents of the conversation, this is the first time Will has ever told Kevin very much, if anything at all, about his having been a patient in the mental ward of a hospital (due to his confrontation with Lecktor). Also, it is evident in this scene that Kevin knows what kind of coffee his mother drinks, but he is not sure what Will's preferred brand is (as indicated above). We would expect that Kevin, whose physical appearance places him at about 13 years old, would have a greater knowledge of Will than he seems to, if he had known and lived with Will for a very lengthy period of time. The point is that Will must not have been Kevin's only father figure during his lifetime - at some earlier point in Kevin's life, he was being raised by a different man.

Concerning the name Molly, this name was used by James Joyce in his 1920 novel Ulysses , where it belongs to Molly Bloom. The wife of main character Leopold Bloom, she roughly corresponds to Penelope in the Odyssey. The major difference between Molly and Penelope is that while Penelope is eternally faithful, Molly is not, having an affair with Hugh 'Blazes' Boylan after ten years of her celibacy within the marriage. [a]

Application of Ulysses' Molly Bloom character (i.e., of the Bloom surname itself, and her infidelity) to our film, would indicate that Molly had previously been married to Dr. Bloom, and that during this marriage, she cheated on the doctor with Will. Dr. Bloom himself is the man who raised Kevin earlier in his life, before Will began raising him. The issue as to which man is Kevin's biological father, will be discussed later.

a. Wikipedia, 'Molly Bloom'. Web, n.d. URL =


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