Essay about The Role of Loneliness in James Joyce's Ulysses

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The Role of Loneliness in James Joyce's Ulysses

Have you ever had one of those days when the world seems cold and unfeeling? Where the people that surround you are far away and uncaring? Ulysses is about one of those days, and two people who are stuck within it, searching desperately for a way out. Loneliness runs like a thread through Ulysses, a novel by James Joyce. It constantly tugs at the character's minds, and drives their lives in subtle ways. Joyce drives the point home by giving a drab, grey description of the character's lives.

Ulysses is set in 1904, Dublin, Ireland. Joyce's book was first published in 1922. The plot of Ulysses is fairly simple. The novel re-creates the days of two Irishmen, Leopold Bloom, the main
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A series of events lead to this unhappiness, and during the day that the book takes place, Bloom, although he leads a comfortable life, is quite miserable. The blow that hit him the hardest was the death of his one year old son. Now, his daughter is away, and he spends much of his time serving his wife, who does not respect him, and is even having an affair with her employer. When Bloom receives a letter from his precious daughter, his mood only worsens, and his mind drifts into the thought of separation. "Fifteen yesterday." Bloom muses, "Curious, fifteenth of the month too. Her first birthday away from home. Separation" (66). Bloom is also plagued by a gnawing worry that his daughter, Milly, might become like his wife. When Bloom goes to the funeral of Paddy Dignam, an old friend, his thoughts lead to a remembrance of his father's suicide. Bloom also feels singled out, not only in his family life, but in general, as a Jew. Although people like and respect Leopold Bloom, there are people he encounters throughout the book who hate him, only because of his religion.

Stephen is another lonely soul wandering the streets of Dublin. His unhappiness is mostly rooted in the fact that his has mother recently died, and the fact that many of his relatives blame him for the death. Although he did not kill his mother, he refused to pray at her deathbed - her final

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