Theme of Impotence in James Joyces Ulysses

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The narrative of the novel is crafted in the stream-of-consciousness technique, the novel abounds in allusions, detailed and enriched characterisations, a vivid humour, pungent sarcasm and a wide range of experimentation on prose enabled Joyce to sum up and display the contemporary environment totally (Harte, Sarah Danius, The Senses of Modernism: Technology, Perception, and Aesthetics).Divided into eighteen chapters, the book runs parallel to the Greek book Odyssey by Homer and each chapter consists of pertinent resemblance with the form, technique and characterisation from the original text, Odyssey from which the story has been inculcated. At the outset of the novel, a light contemplation on the subject-matter of the book indicates that the novel is all about a search. Stephen searches for a father in the symbolic sense and Bloom contrarily searches for a son. In this regard, it can be easily demonstrated that the plot of Ulysses by Joyce parallels to the search of Telemachus for Odysseus and vice versa. However, if one throws light into the conclusion of the search, they ought to know that the search does not end in the novel with the discovery of blooms recognition of his future in Stephen and Stephen’s recognising of past in Bloom. … There is a stark manifesto of Joyce when he presents the theme of sexuality in the text. Chapters like Calypso, Lotus Eaters, Lestrygonians, Nausicaa, Circe, Ithaca, and Penelope abounds in sexual innuendoes hinting the delineation of the theme of sexuality throughout. Also the motif of sexuality presented in the book generates a relation of sexuality and religion on one plane and dichotomy of masculinity and femininity on the other. The delineation of sexual themes in the novel is also indicative of the voyeurism and masochism in the novel. One must not undermine the fact at any level while drawing any kind of critical reception of the novel Ulysses that through this novel, Joyce was quite deliberate to give a social message though in a very latent form. Yet, by completely manifesting actions in the plot with the help of socially condemned behaviours like adultery, voyeurism, masochism and masturbation, Joyce desired to set his characters free in the paradigm of sexual behaviours relating them to evolve as portals pertaining to self-discovery. The free delineation of the sexual activities and urges in the early modern text of Ulysses was condemned for its obscenity but actually Joyce stepped out of the morale and conventional ideals thirsted upon the individuals by society to claim the fact that he is undermining the social stereotypes authorised in patriarchal society related to femininity and masculinity. The society is growing impotent according to Joyce and in order to hide its impotence, it condemns natural desire and primitive instinct of man to surface out spontaneously and rationally (Prebul, Joyce’s Sexual Manifesto: Sex and Sexuality in James