What is the last line of Ulysses?

Answered by Willie Powers

The last line of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” is an iconic and powerful declaration by Molly Bloom, the wife of the novel’s main character, Leopold Bloom. After the intense and stream-of-consciousness narrative that spans the entire book, Joyce concludes with Molly’s internal monologue, which is filled with raw emotion and a profound sense of affirmation.

The last line reads: “yes I said yes I will Yes.”

This simple yet profound statement captures Molly’s acceptance of life and her determination to embrace it fully. The repetition of “yes” emphasizes her resolute and affirmative attitude, as well as her willingness to seize opportunities and make choices. The use of “I said” highlights Molly’s agency and her ability to assert herself.

This final line is significant in several ways. Firstly, it encapsulates the themes of affirmation and acceptance that permeate the novel. Throughout “Ulysses,” the characters grapple with their identities, desires, and societal expectations. Molly’s final affirmation serves as a culmination of these struggles, suggesting a sense of self-acceptance and liberation.

Secondly, the line echoes the structure and style of the entire novel. Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness technique is evident in Molly’s monologue, as her thoughts flow freely and without punctuation. The repetition of words and phrases, such as “yes,” mirrors the repetitive and cyclical nature of life itself.

Lastly, the line also echoes the conclusion of Homer’s “Odyssey,” from which “Ulysses” draws its inspiration. In Homer’s epic, the hero Odysseus finally returns home and is reunited with his wife Penelope. Similarly, Molly’s affirmation can be seen as a metaphorical homecoming, a moment of resolution and connection.

The last line of “Ulysses,” “yes I said yes I will Yes,” is a powerful and evocative declaration that embodies the themes and style of the novel. It represents Molly Bloom’s affirmation of life and her assertion of agency, while also echoing the structure of the entire work. This line, like the novel itself, invites interpretation and leaves a lasting impression on readers.