Jourody Journey of Homer's Odyssey, Joyce's Ulysses and Walcott's Omeros

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The Journey of Homer's Odyssey, Joyce's Ulysses and Walcott's Omeros

This essay explores how the theme of the journey, pervasive in Homer's Odyssey, find expression in James Joyce's Ulysses (1922) and Derrick Walcott's Omeros (1990), epics written in very different historical periods. Common to all three epics is a plot structure that involves a protagonist who longs for home but who must first endure a life-altering change before he returns. The theme of the "journey" provokes an image of both a natural and spiritual quest occurring simultaneously, both significantly viable because each passage contributes equally to the manifestation of the maturing male identity.

Homer's Odyssey, captures the essence of the
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The gods concoct a plan that makes a liaison between the goddess of lust, Kirke, and Odysseus that encourages his transformation into a mature mortal man.

James Joyce's Ulysses captures the essence of the "journey" by juxtaposing Leopold Bloom's day travels in Dublin's shanty town against the psycho-neurotic journey of his conscious state, as he negotiates his frustrations about Molly's liaison with Blazes Boylan. Like Odysseus, Bloom inevitably returns home but not before he encounters the demons that make him subservient and which force his tolerating Molly's behavior. Bloom's internal journey makes his austere and subordinate disposition self-respecting and whole. A transgression with a prostitute in a brothel provides Bloom with the experience he needs to ready his return home to Molly.

Leopold Bloom lives, in exile from Jerusalem, in Ireland with his wife Molly. Bloom an advertising salesman and Molly a singer, the couple had a son, Rudy, who died eleven years ago. Neither Bloom nor Molly cope adequately after the loss of their child but make attempts to recover. Bloom seeks another son, a desire that manifests in hallucinations about childbirth. Bloom projects his desire onto Stephen Dedalus, a young Irish school teacher. Stephen himself desires a new father, unlike his real one, Simon Dedalus, who he deems to be wholly incompetent and untrustworthy. Molly attempts to recuperate from Rudy's death by withdrawing from
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