Study Help Essay Questions


1. At the end of "Telemachus," Stephen decides to leave the Martello Tower. What factors lead to this decision?

2. In "Nestor," how do Mr. Deasy's views on women, history, Jews, and finances anticipate similar viewpoints of other characters in Ulysses? How do his ideas contribute to Joyce's satiric intent in the novel?

3. "Proteus" deals with change. What elements of Stephen's past must he come to terms with? What are his present options?

4. Show how "Calypso" portrays Bloom as a man who delights in the physical world.

5. Discuss how Joyce creates a dreamlike, soporific atmosphere in "The Lotus-Eaters." How does Bloom's relationship with Martha Clifford typify the tone of the episode?

6. Show in detail how "Hades" presents Bloom's estrangement from the Roman Catholic community of Dubliners, as well as his loneliness and his wit.

7. In "Aeolus," what views of Ireland are presented by the discussants in the newspaper office? How does Stephen's Parable of the Plums synthesize many of their ideas?

8. "The Lestrygonians" presents several pedestrian aspects of Dublin life. How does Bloom's point of view concerning these everyday happenings determine what the reader sees?

9. Discuss in detail Stephen's views concerning Shakespeare ("Scylla and Charybdis!'). How are they influenced by his interlocutors? How do they reflect his own personality and problems?

10. Describe Joyce's use of illusions in "The Wandering Rocks." Also, how does the structure of mini-episodes contribute to the over-all form of Ulysses?

11. How do the musical allusions in "The Sirens" define the personalities of Bloom, Simon Dedalus, and the others in the episode?

12. How does Joyce create an ever-increasing atmosphere of gloom and menace in "The Cyclops"? What does the climactic confrontation of Bloom and the Citizen reveal about the two men?

13. How does the "marmalady" style of "Nausicaa" augment Joyce's purpose in the episode? Also, discuss his use of parallel motifs in "Nausicaa."

14. In "The Oxen of the Sun," Joyce parodies several historical periods in the development of the English language. What purpose is served by such satire? Explain in detail.

15. Discuss how the events in "Circe," on both a conscious and an unconscious level, serve as a catharsis — that is, a purgation for Bloom and Stephen.

16. What purpose do the yarns and other fabrications of "Eumaeus!' serve? How do they reflect the major themes in Ulysses?

17. How does the catechetical question-and-answer format contribute to Joyce's conveying a sense of "infinity" and objectivity in "Ithaca"?

18. Discuss in detail the character of Molly Bloom as it is revealed in "Penelope."