Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Reading Ulysses: Telemachus

Oy. I Have apparently started with the wrong book, seeing how the Introduction told me that Stephen Dedalus was the Protagonist of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. But It's too late now, I'm too far in to stop now.

I Don't like Buck Mulligan. He keeps trying to make Stephen feel inferior by mocking him and lording his opinions over him.
He isn't concerned with the creation of art, Which is essential to Stephen's being, but rather the marketing of ideas. He treats Stephen like a servant, and then he has the audacity to ask for the keys to the tower, where Stephen pays the rent. "Usurper" is an apt title for Buck.

Mother Grogan is an interesting symbol. She represents kind of a typical Irish Peasant. As such, she also stands for Ireland itself. She is withered and barren, and she kowtows to Buck and Haines showing the unwillingness of Ireland to seperate itself from English Oppression. She has been so oppressed for so long, she can't even recognize her own language. Stephen comments that he serves three masters: An Italian, The Pope; an Englishman, the King; and he also adds Ireland as a master. That also adds to the "Irish servant" motif he sets down earlier.

It suprised me the first time that we could hear Stephen's thoughts. Initially, I thought it was a narrator speaking.

Has anyone else noticed Joyce's use of Gold and White in this chapter?


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