Ulysses, By James Joyce Essay, Research Paper
Initial reactions to the novel Ulysses, by James Joyce were that this book parallels itself with Homer s Odyssey. I initially thought that the idea of a day in the life of book would be interesting to read as well. In almost every novel you are able to get inside the head of the main characters and are able to feel their emotions at the moments they are feeling them and are able to experience what they experience but very rarely does a novel take you through every aspect of a human beings day and initially that is what I though this novel would be about.
Statements that intrigued me from the novel were, A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery. I liked this quote because it is very true to life. Everyone makes mistakes, but it is these mistakes, which we learn from, and what enable us to grow into the people we are.
What attracted me to this novel was that it all took place in the course of one day. I was fascinated by the almost a day in the life of type novel which I hadn t read anything of that type in ages. I was intrigued by the opportunity to read and be able to feel and experience every aspect of a human beings day.
The character that intrigued me was Leopold Bloom simply because he was a loner, and I am not the type of person who is afraid to be alone and have a need to have company every waking moment of the day. However that is all I could get out of Bloom. I could not identify very well with him and for this I was fascinated. For Leopold Bloom was a Jewish man who was very shut off from his Catholic and often anti-Semitic associates. He really did not have anything else in common with his colleagues either. Other aspects and characteristics of his alienation are how he left his house key in his other pair of pants but he was too afraid to go back and retrieve it for he did not want to wake Molly. His full name does not even appear in the newspaper report. There was no room for him at his office, and at one point during the day he is even struck by an opening door. Bloom is a thoroughly whole man, the negatives of his life out weigh the positives like so many of us but he is no saint and for that we cannot have too much sympathy for him, just like any other typical human being.
Ulysses is very similar to Homer s Odyssey. Homer s epic almost seemed to be the model or structure that Joyce used to create Ulysses. In the Odyssey, Telemachus decides to leave Ithaca and to search for his father, Odysseus, so that he and Telemachus might return home and will be able to drive away the suitors who are desecrating Ithaca while courting Penelope, Odysseus wife. In Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus is being forced out of the Tower by Haines and Mulligan. Just as Calypso held Odysseus captive, his wife Molly is holding Leopold Bloom captive. At the end of the Odyssey, Odysseus is reunited with his wife Penelope. At first, Penelope does not recognize her husband but is convinced only after Odysseus describes their bed. In Joyce s novel the scene is recreated with the Blooms bed, whose jingling sound has been heard, foreshadowed and developed through several scenes in the novel.
Striking details in this novel are how James Joyce s characters are so eerily similar to Homer s characters. Stephen Dedalus is Telemachus, Ithaca is the Blooms house, Molly Bloom is a mixture of both Penelope and Calypso, and Ulysses is Odysseus.