The Use Of Symbols In Ulysses By James Joyce

740 Words3 Pages
Joyce once said: "I 've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that 's the only way of insuring one 's immortality." And it is true, the book is full of symbols and images, some of them are not very clear so they have different interpretations. In chapter five, Joyce makes references to different symbols:1 “Sleeping sickness in the air” (Joyce, 2010: 63) Like the lotus flowers in Ulysses, which produces narcotic effects on Ulysses, Bloom talks about different types of flowers, and he ends with this commentary, making a clear reference to the lotus flowers. 1. Some of the meanings are extracted from: GIFFORD, D. Ulysses Annotated, California: University of California Press, 1988. “Griffith’s paper is on the same tack now: an army rotten with venereal disease: overseas or halfseasover empire.” (Joyce, 2010: 64) Joyce plays here with the word ‘overseas’ and ‘halfseasover’ that refers to the term intoxicated. Probably he is referring to the corruption of the English Empire. “Handsome is and handsome does.” (Joyce, 2010: 65) It is the personal interpretation that Bloom does of the English proverb “Handsome is as handsome does”. “Blackened court cards laid along her thigh by sevens. Dark lady and fair man” (Joyce, 2010: 66) These cards are coat cards. In fortune telling, “Dark lady and a fair man” is a combination of a queen and a king. The queen of spades, referring to a woman who is false and a widow;
Open Document