Reality and Motion in James Joyce's "Ulysses" Book Review by Jay Writtings LLC

Reality and Motion in James Joyce's "Ulysses"
This paper analyzes various themes in James Joyce's "Ulysses."
# 120053 | 1,495 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Jun 03, 2010 in Literature (European (other))

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In this paper, the reviewer explores several literary critics' opinions about the major themes in James Joyce's novel "Ulysses. Richard Ellmann sees the major theme in the novel as love, and his writings are examined at length. Other critics' views of Joyce's masterpiece, its central themes, and Ellmann's viewpoint are also cited. The reviewer describes "Ulysses" as having three central concepts, around which the techniques and themes of the novel revolve. "Ulysses" is further described as involving meta-literary processes, i.e., the author's attempt to influence the act of reading itself. The reviewer imparts that a comprehensive reading of Ulysses cannot stop with the text itself but must includ extra-textual considerations of Joyce's Dublin in 1904. The paper concludes by stating that "Ulysses" as an attempt to bring scholars and readers together, in a quest to understand the work, and calls for them to themselves traverse Joyce's Dublin.

From the Paper:

"Recurring leitmotifs are omnipresent in Ulysses, and most often affirm the work's role as a grand revisitation of Homer's Odyssey, such as the final realization in the Ithaca episode that Wisdom Hely, whose sandwichmen appear throughout the novel, may be one of Molly Bloom's former lovers. Revealing this information at such a late point in the novel allows Joyce to pay psychological homage to Homer as Bloom fires "arrows of reason" (Gilbert 370) at suitor Wisdom Hely after mentally avoiding the sandwichmen as he has avoided Blazes Boylan. But are the sandwichmen a great theme of Ulysses? Obviously not - their repetition lends them importance and prominence in a work categorically determined to sidestep conventional methods of doing so."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ellmann, Richard. Preface to Ulysses. New York: Random House, 1986.
  • Gilbert, Stuart. James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study. New York: Random House, 1958.
  • Joyce, James. Ulysses. New York: Random House, 1984.
  • Kenner, Hugh. Ulysses, rev. ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.

Cite this Book Review:

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