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History, Memory, and Relationships with the Past in James Joyce’s Ulysses

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Freelance writer
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UC Davis

About the document

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documents in English
book reviews
6 pages
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  1. Introduction
  2. The begining of the novel
  3. Portraying absolute value systems
  4. Irish nationalism
    1. The seemingly forward thinking Irish nationalists
  5. A complete ignorance of the past and a lack of regret
  6. Bloom as a forward thinking individual
    1. Bloom's relationship with Stephen
  7. The ideal relationship with the past
  8. The episode of Wandering Rocks
  9. The multi styled form of Ulysses
  10. Conclusion
  11. Works cited

The past can be a daunting thing. From personal memory to history at large, the past has the power to bury those unable to establish a healthy relationship with it. One can easily become trapped ? paralyzed ? in the past through guilt, regret, or nostalgia, emotions generated based upon socially-constructed ideological frameworks of absolutes. James Joyce's novel, Ulysses, represents an ideal relationship with the past in its narrative, its structure, and its form, a relationship in which history acts as a base from which to build a future. By presenting the paralyzing dangers of becoming trapped in history and highlighting how one might grow towards the future while maintaining a relationship with the past through the character of Leopold Bloom, his relationship with Stephen Dedalus, and the experimental, multi-styled form of the novel itself, Ulysses combines numerous elements which add up to something radically new, but something deeply grounded in the work and history of the past.

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