30, July, 2019
Borge on Joyce illustrates the heroic journey by discussing the mythical character Ulysses. Borge is convinced by the pic poem that sets basis for the fiction and interprets the admiration of this popular character. Joyce’s Ulysses is referring to Homer who narrates the story of Odysseus. He is a popular Greek warrior who possessed heroic qualities and worked for the humankind. The focus of Joyce is on relating the Greek character Odysseus with Leopold Bloom, a twentieth century Irishman. Both Odysseus and Bloom walk same roles, encounter same complexities and traced same patterns.
Odysseus is a portrayed as leader, becoming apparent in his journey of struggles and pain. He was a kind and possessed qualities of an extraordinary man. His leadership traits differentiated him from others. He always guided his crew members and took the courage to enter the land of dangers. “How can he stand his ground against the will of all the gods at once—one god alone?” A true leader has a role in making decisions effectively during critical situations while Odysseus fails at many points exhibiting his weakened state. Joyce highlights the leadership traits of Odysseus that presents his heroic role. Joyce linked the character of Bloom with this Greek leader by showing his good qualities. Although both characters had some flaws according to Borge that are neglected by Joyce. The thoughtfulness and extraordinary qualities of Bloom are adequate for shoring his heroic role. Both these figures has worked to overcome their conflicting desires.
Joyce has challenged Homer by stressing on the good qualities of Odysseus because according to him he was a true hero. This is against the original idea of homer who portrayed him as a weak and defeated leader. Joyce associated the pride of this Greek character with heroism because this encouraged him to take bold decisions without accepting suggestions from others. He always believed in his plans and had the power of executing them. The adventures of Bloom also exhibit extraordinary events that makes him different for ordinary people. Joyce reinvents the character of Odysseus by creating Bloom CITATION SFM17 \l 1033 (McLaren). His main struggle is with self as he face conflicts due to the perils of everyday life including lust, despair, boredom and embarrassment. Bloom had to undergo great deal of inner fight for resolving his conflicting desires.
Survival of Bloom was not possible if he lacked heroic traits. The man struggles with his relationship of love. “Is there anything more in him that they she sees? Fascination. Worst man in Dublin. That keeps him alive” (Joyce). The wife of Bloom is not impressed with him and he represents a broken love story. The unconscious mind creates complexities for Bloom as he is unable to find peace or satisfaction CITATION Joh77 \l 1033 (Raleigh). He continues to live irrespective of his tensions and inner conflict. His struggles increase as he finds about his wife’s infidelity but he manages to control self. This exhibits resemblance with Odysseus because he also slayed the suitors of hiss wife.
Struggles against loneliness also reflects heroic journey of Bloom. He suffers from the emotions of his being Jewishness. He disconnects him from the race and religion but bears the bitterness of the world. This also portrays his connection to Odysseus because both were hated by others. The dislike of Bloom’s wife causes pain and hopelessness but he continued to make everything right. He is betrayed by his wife as he leaves the home. The journey of Bloom and Odysseus exhibits similarity and they survived due to their heroic traits.
BIBLIOGRAPHY McLaren, SF. Friday essay: the wonder of Joyce’s Ulysses. 2017. 30 07 2019 <http://theconversation.com/friday-essay-the-wonder-of-joyces-ulysses-79417>.
Raleigh, John Henry. "Bloom as a Modern Epic Hero." Critical Inquiry 3.3 (1977).
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