Analysis of James Joyce’s Ulysses

James Joyce a prolific writer who heralded the birth of the modern novel. He is famous for his streams of consciousness writing. Ulysses records 12 hrs of day and is written as an epic. The main characters in Ulysses are Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom and Mary Bloom.
Ulysses records trivial things happening in day to day life. It is novel entirely set in Dublin. In the novel Joyce wanted to break-free from the bondage of Catholicism. Joyce instills Hellenism in the novel. Objet d’ art is common place objects. For example a cracked mirror is a Hellenic sculpture.
Stephen Dedalus is school teacher and a poet. He seems to be suffering from an oedipal trauma. He feels guilty of not having prayed beside his mother’s death bed. When teaching at school, he encounters angst. The sea is an occurring leitmotif in Joyce’s Ulysses. The sea is an aesthetic artifact. Joyce uses various types of allusions in the novel. There is a debate on whether transubstantiation or consubstantiation is right.
Bloom is a man in his fifties. He feels sorrow at the death of his daughter. Joyce is known for his penetrating character insight. Bloom wanders through the streets of Dublin as a bucking bronco. He encounters Stephen and invites him to his house. He is cuckold and forces Stephen to make love to his wife. Molly Bloom is reminiscent of a mother Goddess. She is a symbol of cultic sexuality. Her sexual organs are described in Gothic narcissism.
The novel abounds in literary passion. The novel has broken the traditional fringes of realism. There is no plot in the novel. Joyce has set forth the avant garde. The novel cannot be considered a philosophical one. The novel is a kunstlerroman. Stephen represents Joyce’s youth and Bloom represents Joyce’s old age. Tropes are used sparingly. The novel is a brilliant narrative in steams of consciousness. There is no comic or tragic effect in the novel. The novel can be rated as a brilliant work of art. The sea is taken as symbolism of the mother Goddess. The novel evokes the consciousness of the fin de siècle. Celtic myths are made a pagan hyperborean in the novel. Irony and romanticism are the key elements in the novel. The novel is evocative of a sensual catharsis. We find the characters to be delusional and obsessed with the narcissism of their minds. The novel is similar to the Greek epic Ulysses. It does not evoke a deep philosophical thought. The novel alternates between stoicism and nihilism. Time does not follow a linear sequence. The novel is a technical master piece. Joyce was rebelling against his own indoctrinated Catholicism. One is able to probe into the workings of the interior mind. Women are feminine and man effeminate. Bloom languishes at his own sexual escapades. The streams of consciousness narrative enables the reader to come to terms with his own self.



Moses in the Old Testament was the leader who redeemed the Israelites out of captivity from Egypt. Moses as an idiom means a redeemer.

Example: I need a Moses to redeem me from my financial bondage.

A Moses is needed to bail out the economy.