Ulysses
Ulysses
by James Joyce

Ulysses Analysis

Literary Devices in Ulysses

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

If you pick up Don Gifford's Ulysses Annotated, you'll quickly realize just what an absurd number of symbols and allusions there are in Ulysses. Most of these are not just toss-off allusions either...

Setting

Ulysses was written between the years 1914 and 1921. During this time, Joyce was in self-imposed exile from Ireland, first in Trieste, then in Zürich, then in Paris. Yet all of his work is set...

Narrator Point of View

Point of view is something that is extremely important to Ulysses. Namely, the point of view is unconfined, and we are exposed to myriad perspectives in the course of the book. Language and voice c...

Genre

Ulysses was released in the same year as T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland (1922). In the way that Eliot's poem is treated as the modernist poem, Ulysses is generally regarded as the modernist novel.So wh...

Tone

We remember reading Ulysses in a course in college, and about halfway through the book (after the "Nausicaa" episode), kids began to get extremely frustrated with it. One kid in particular had been...

Writing Style

Joyce is a stylistic sponge. From the time when he was very young, he consumed libraries' worth of books, and after reading one author or another he found that he could easily soak up their style a...

What's Up With the Title?

Let's start with the simple facts before we get into all the swirling connotations. "Ulysses" is the Latin name for the Greek hero of Homer's epic, the Odyssey, on which Joyce's novel is based. As...

What's Up With the Ending?

We're going to make a bold assertion here because we can't help it: the last several pages of Ulysses are some of the most breathtaking prose in the English language. In other words, if you can't t...

Plot Analysis

Part 1: The Telemachiad, and "Calypso"By the end of "Calypso," our two main characters have been introduced, and we have been given a sense of some of the main conflicts that will drive the novel....

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: The Quest

Part 1: The TelemachiadNow, you'd think that since Ulysses is modeled on the Odyssey, which is pretty much the classic quest story of all time, this should be easy to map out. The fact of the matte...

Three Act Plot Analysis

The Telemachiad. This part consists first three episodes, which focus on Stephen Dedalus.The Wanderings of Ulysses. This part is comprised of Episodes 4 through 15, which focus on the daily goings-...

Trivia

At one point in Ulysses, Stephen looks at Mulligan and thinks, "He fears the lancet of my art as I fear that of his." Well, it turns out that Mulligan is based on Joyce's real-life tempestuous frie...

Steaminess Rating

When Ulysses was first published, it was widely banned. There was an international debate about whether or not it was an obscene and pornographic book. The debate was somewhat settled when American...

Allusions

There are far too many literary and philosophical references to be listed here. Some of the key texts to be familiar with as you approach the book are Homer's the Odyssey and Shakespeare's Hamlet (...

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