Essay PreviewMore ↓
Stephen Dedalus contrasts the increasing squalor of his circumstances with a Dublin which the young artist has overwritten in his mind with various literary associations:
The rain-laden trees of the avenue evoked in him, as always, memories of the girls and women in the plays of Gerhart Hauptmann; and the memory of their pale sorrows and the fragrance falling from the wet branches mingled in a mood of quiet joy. His morning walk across the city had begun, and he foreknew that as he passed the sloblands of Fairview he would think of the cloistral silver-veined prose of Newman; that as he walked along the North Strand Road, glancing idly at the windows of the provision shops, he would recall the dark humour of Guido Cavalcanti and smile; that as he went by Baird's stonecutting works in Talbot Place the spirit of Ibsen would blow through him like a keen wind, a spirit of wayward boyish beauty... (P 179)
Joyce once remarked that one's writing must be national first, then universal. Fictively, Joyce never left Dublin at all....all the history and literature of the world can be found here in "dear dirty Dublin". And yet his comic appropriation of Greek myth goes beyond blending "two ends of the western tradition like a multitemporal, multi-territorial pun" (Ellmann, 1972, p.2) to set up a dialogue between carnivalesque mockery and sublime counterbalance for all that his country lacked: intellectual and political heroism, adventurousness, the ability to fly by those various nets which enchained the spirit.
Oliver Gogarty, in It isn't This Time of Year at All records that the figure of the young "artist" is a double entendre. A "great artist" in Dublin stood for a practical joker or a playboy; someone who prefers diversion to discipline; a producer, an "artifex", a droll. The dialogical contrast is highlighted from Portrait to Ulysses, where we learn the fate of the pompous devotee of Aristotle and Aquinas, the Daedalus posed for dramatic flight:
How to Cite this Page
"Comments on Joyce's Ulysses." 123HelpMe.com. 19 May 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- James Joyce structured Ulysses to correspond with events in Homer's Odyssey. The relationship between two principle characters in Ulysses, Leopold Bloom as a sonless father and Stephen Dedalus as a fatherless son parallels the circumstances of Odysseus and Telemachus. This interpretation of the relationship between Bloom and Stephen, however, does not account for a significant theme of Ulysses, that of motherhood. Despite the idea that Bloom is a father looking for a son and that Stephen is a son looking for a father, the desires of both of these characters go beyond that of a father and son relationship.... [tags: Joyce Ulysses Essays]
3579 words (10.2 pages)
- The Role of Loneliness in James Joyce's Ulysses Have you ever had one of those days when the world seems cold and unfeeling. Where the people that surround you are far away and uncaring. Ulysses is about one of those days, and two people who are stuck within it, searching desperately for a way out. Loneliness runs like a thread through Ulysses, a novel by James Joyce. It constantly tugs at the character's minds, and drives their lives in subtle ways. Joyce drives the point home by giving a drab, grey description of the character's lives.... [tags: Joyce Ulysses Essays]
989 words (2.8 pages)
- Sensory Overload in James Joyce's Ulysses In writing about the experience of reading Ulysses, one critic has commented that "it's rather like wearing earphones plugged into someone's brain, and monitoring an endless tape-recording of the subject's impressions, reflections, questions, memories and fantasies, as they are triggered either by physical sensations or the association of ideas" (Lodge 47). Indeed, the aural sense plays a crucial role throughout much of the novel. But in the "Wandering Rocks" section especially, one experiences a sort of sensory overload as one is presented with nineteen vignettes of one hour in the life of Dublin's denizens which, while seemingly disparate, ar... [tags: Joyce Ulysses Essays]
1190 words (3.4 pages)
- The Theme of Epiphany in Ulysses James Joyce's Ulysses is a novel of epic proportions that has been proclaimed the greatest piece of literature of the twentieth century. Ulysses takes place in Dublin, Ireland on June 16, 1904. The book is full of parallels, metaphors, and experimental literary techniques. However, a dominant theme is that of epiphany. Not necessarily religious in meaning, the Joycean idea of epiphany is a sudden discovery of the essential nature or meaning of something.... [tags: Joyce Ulysses Essays]
1290 words (3.7 pages)
- Portrayal of Women in James Joyce's Ulysses The novel, "Ulysses", by James Joyce shows the reader hour by hour a single day in the life of one man. But this epic which specifically deals with Leopold Bloom and has reference to Stephen Dedalus, holds so much more appendage to other areas of life. One, is the portrayal of women in Ulysses. A common speculation is that men seem to have a more dominating status over women. However, in Ulysses that theory dwindles due to the women who play significant roles in the story. Although the women in the novel all use various tactics to entice the men to succumb and cower to them, it all ends up that the men do heed to the qualifying factors.... [tags: Joyce Ulysses Essays]
1125 words (3.2 pages)
- The Chapter of Circe in James Joyce's Ulysses Chapter Circe of Ulysses is said to be the "most confessional chapter of the novel" (Schechner 100). In this way, the themes and underlying meaning present throughout the chapter are more pertinent to the novel as a whole than any other aspect of this particular section. Specifically, themes of love, power, masochism, and consciousness watermark the literature throughout the chapter.... [tags: Joyce Ulysses Essays]
1433 words (4.1 pages)
- Use of Language in James Joyce's Ulysses In his essay “The Decomposing Form of Joyce’s Ulysses,” Henry Staten has argued “that Ulysses achieves some of its most characteristic effects by pressing the internal logic of mimesis to the limit, above all through onomatopoeia, which manifests in a peculiarly condensed way the self-contradictory character of the realist project” (Staten 174-5). Mimetic narrative and method are undone by an onomatopoeiac mode, which is conceived by Stephen “as the pure self-expression or self-annunciation of reality” (175): “Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide…” (Ulysses 3.2-3, emphasis added).... [tags: James Joyce Ulysses Decomposition Essays]
2460 words (7 pages)
- William Blake’s Influence on Joyce’s Ulysses Stephen Dedalus is a poor schoolteacher. Poor in the sense that he lives in a one-room tower and eats nothing all day, sure, but poor mainly in the sense that he is a rotten instructor. You, Cochrane, what city sent for him. Tarentum, sir. Very good. Well. There was a battle, sir. Very good. Where. The boy's blank face asked the blank window.  He grills his students in much the same way his first teachers drilled him; stands before them inspiring fear and boredom. He understands the schoolroom and its small miseries. The form is tried and true: the catechism, call and response. Cochrane replies automatically to Stephen's... [tags: Joyce Ulysses Essays]
1849 words (5.3 pages)
- James Joyce's Ulysses - Balancing Information in Ithaca "I hold this book [Ulysses] to be the most important expression which the present age has found; it is a book to which we are all indebted, and from which none of us can escape. " T.S. Elliot In the midst of 'Ithaca,' the climactic second to last episode of Ulysses, James Joyce provides the necessary information for calculating how much excrement, in pounds, is produced annually by the entire population of Ireland (p. 718). The type of information offered is not, however, the most shocking quality of the narrative.... [tags: Joyce Ulysses Essays]
3235 words (9.2 pages)
- James Joyce's Ulysses "There's five fathoms out there.... A sail veering about the blank bay waiting for a swollen bundle to bob up, roll over to the sun a puffy face, saltwhite. Here I am" (18). If "Old Father Ocean" (42) is Proteus (Gifford 46), god of "primal matter" (32) corresponding with a viridian tinge of primal soup as well as the tide that washes in the ruined flotsam and jetsam of man's voyages, it makes some kind of sense that there is no corresponding symbolic organ to this episode.... [tags: James Joyce Ulysses Poem Essays]
910 words (2.6 pages)
Fabulous artificer. The hawklike man. You flew. Whereto?
Newhaven-Dieppe, steerage passenger. Paris and back. Lapwing. Icarus.
"Brothers", said I "that have come valiantly
Through hundred thousand jeopardies undergone
To reach the West, you will not now deny
To this last little vigil left to run
Of feeling life, the new experience
Of the uninhabited world behind the sun.
Think of your breed; for brutish ignorance
Your mettle was not made; you were made men,
To follow after knowledge and excellence." (Dante, Inferno, p.236)
Thus spoke Ulysses. Joyce first came across this figure as a child in Charles Lamb's Adventures of Ulysses, and later through Dante. Indeed, by the age of 20, Joyce still had little interest in Homer. According to Padraic Colum's account, Joyce thought the Greek epics were outside the tradition of European culture, and that the Divine Comedy was Europe's epic. He also defined Hellenism as "European appendicitis", so when Buck Mulligan promises to "Hellenise" the island, this is not without authorial irony (JJ 103).
Joyce adapted for himself a peculiarly secular Jesuit pursuit of the Truth: pursuing the "uninhabited world behind the sun": the insolite, the obscure, the unspoken, the unconscious ...all these territories would Joyce counter-colonise against the dominant orthodoxies of fiction, for the rest of his wandering days.
Dante's Ulysses meets a sticky end: his eager crew having plied ever further south, encountering the "other pole" in the night sky, finally arrives at the great grey mountain which was thought to be the sole land in the Antipodes. This tall island blew foul weather, shipwrecking (and presumably killing) the entire crew as "over our heads the hollow seas closed up". This land was popularly believed to be Purgatory.