Yes I will yes

Molly Bloom’s monologue begins and ends with "Yes," a word which she repeats throughout Penelope. The effect is as consciously rhetorical on Joyce's part as any linguistic patterning in Aeolus or Oxen of the Sun. Its circular return carries important intertextual echoes, and the word itself is rich with suggestive power. It expresses the ambivalence of a woman skeptically examining the circumstances of her life and coming to a final affirmation of its value.

John Hunt and Doug Pope 2018

Yoko Ono, Ceiling Painting (ink on canvas, metal frame, magnifying glass, metal chain, and painted ladder), displayed in London's Indica Gallery in 1966. Source: www.pinterest.com.

"Page 1, Penelope" (1969), modern-day stele created by Joe Tilson to celebrate Molly's signature word, usually displayed in the foyer of the British Library and shown here being cleaned by conservator Leo Stevenson. Source: blogs.bl.uk.

Joe Tilson's 1970 transcription of Joyce's words from the letter to Budgen. Source: www.tate.org.uk.