Besmer 1 Brian Besmer Mr. Anselmo English IV 11/13/00 Styles of James Joyce I will be discussing the styles of James Joyce and how his life experiences, his surroundings, and himself affected his writings this area. James Joyce is an extremely versatile author. He has written books that were entire collections of short stories such as Dubliners and long novels such as Ulysses.
Much of Joyce's life contributed to his writings and he has been influence by many people and events. Joyce grew up in Ireland and then moved to England where he began his writing. He wrote for England but was Irish at heart and this will be shown in his writings. Many things influenced Joyce's writings, from other authors, to his life experiences. Joyce used other books as a platform for his own books. A major example of this is Joyce's book Ulysses, which he based almost entirely off of Homer's Odyssey (Garvin 15).
Joyce was fascinated with Homer's Odyssey and based several of his books on it other then Ulysses. Not even so much basing his books off of the Odyssey but also restating many of the events shown and ideas expressed in his books. Joyce researched the Odyssey thoroughly and analyzing everything done by Homer, and used it to build Ulysses. Joyce saw the Odyssey as the solution to many Besmer 2 of his problems in his life.
The Odyssey was the foundation of Ulysses and a lot of the views that were expressed in the Odyssey were expressed again in Ulysses. Joyce wanted to show people of his time what was going on and what should be done and he felt this was shown well in the Odyssey. The two books were so alike that even most of the chapters in the Odyssey correspond with the episodes in Ulysses in almost exact chronological order (Ellmann 115). The only difference is that the Odyssey has twenty-four chapters while Ulysses has eighteen episodes.
Joyce makes up for the lack of episodes by combining several of the Odyssey's chapters into one episode in Ulysses. Also many of the patterns seen in Homer's Odyssey appear in Joyce's Ulysses, as well as other books written by Joyce. The appearance of these similar patterns is because Joyce agreed with a lot of what Homer had to say and Homer's beliefs (Garvin 22). To make the books a little less similar, Joyce broke up the order of events. Other authors besides Homer also influenced Joyce. Authors such as Ibsen and Goethe were used in several of his works, but neither of them were ever used as much as Homer's books, especially the Odyssey.
Even though they weren't used as much as Homer they still played a significant role in Joyce's writings. Joyce was not ignorant and listened to what others had to say. He often combined ideas of other people to make up his own ideas, which he then expressed in his writings (Brunsdale 18). Joyce's writings were also influenced by his everyday life experiences. Besmer 3 Growing up in Ireland he saw how people lived and wrote about what he had seen during his youth. Each experience was carefully chosen so that it could be used to create a literary work of art, a picture of what Joyce wanted to show everyone.
Joyce wrote about the common people of Ireland who he saw while growing up. Everyday events and youth experience in Ireland were explained in several of his books because they made such a significant impact on his life before he moved to England (Halper 4). Not only did he write about his experiences in Ireland and what he had seen there, but also what he had seen in mainland Europe on his visits to places such as Rome and Paris. He also would write about other experiences in his life, such as with women and his friends, in his stories, almost as if he was writing an autobiography. Much of what Joyce wrote had to deal with Joyce himself. Often doing this to get his point across.
To make people believe it was primarily from the story and not from him self he would distort and transcend his experiences to fit his books (Church 171). Sometimes, Joyce would even incorporate himself into the characters in his stories. Never making them exactly like himself, but he would add specific parts of himself into his characters. Joyce wanted everyone to believe that his books were not apart of himself. Even Celtic traditions were used in his books, which he learned from his life in Ireland (Halper 15). He even wrote about one of his personal experiences in a short story called the Dead where he discussed some of the problems his wife Nora and himself were having while they stayed in Rome Besmer 4 (Benitudh 37).
Joyce used this to vent, but also to show his opinion of married life. The story talked about marital disillusionment and Joyce talked about the tension that builds between people as time passes. The marital disillusionment is what people who are married fail to see the bad things in the other person where they thought everything was good and that everything is great. To create tightly woven stories, Joyce would use integrated patterns in his books. He would combine different eras of time, such as using antiquity and contemporary events in his stories (Levin 49). He worked as if he were sowing a giant quilt, making sure every thread was placed perfectly.
When he wrote Ulysses he didn't just want to create a modern Odyssey, he wanted to make it of all ages and create a very complex structure for Ulysses (Kiely 217). Joyce's books contain a unity that appears to be thematic or intertwined. Everything was placed and matched perfectly. Mainly his books were individual stories grouped and arranged in a way as to develop what he wanted to say and what point he wanted to get across to his readers. Each event led to the next so that once the reader was finished he would understand what Joyce was trying say. The books flow with paralysis, which is a fundamental structure of movements and stases (Church 87).
Even though this is a simple method Joyce made it complex in the way he structured his stories. The books contain motions, counter motions and arrest arranged in a complex manner so that every little part of the story was tied Besmer 5 together and had an effect on what was going on (Church 89). This aloud Joyce to mention many things in his stories and makes them all work with each other. His books are like one giant consecutive narrative with everything combined to create a master novel of all of his thoughts, beliefs and ideas. Techniques in Joyce's books varied greatly. Joyce used decadent, and abstracted artistry in his books, which means he had things that aren't part of the story but were still in the story (Rice 310).
Even though they seemed not to be part of the story they still played a role in many of Joyce's hidden meanings. The subversion of virtues such as justice, temperance, and prudence was also common in Joyce's books (Rice 312). These hidden meanings were shown in his book the Dubliners. He also loved to contradict certain thoughts to show more then one side to a situation. Many times to get his points across he would exaggerate certain areas of the stor (Anderson 132). That isn't the only way he expressed his beliefs and got his points across though.
Metaphors, analogies and suggestion were also used to show other points of views in situation. Sympathy, compassion and connection were often used to get the reader to believe in something else (Levin 119). In a way, he played with the minds of his readers so they would agree with his points of view. Some of the ways Joyce would come up with the ideas of how he would write his books occurred to him in his everyday life. To remember these ideas, Joyce carried a notebook in his pockets at all time so he could Besmer 6 write down what he was thinking (Brunsdale 143).
Any idea or phrase that popped into his head would be put into his notebook for future reference. He would even create entire characters in his head and jot them down into his notebook (Brunsdale 144). Some of his characters were actually him self. Every little detail was added and nothing was left out. He constantly put himself into his characters to express his point of view and he saw things. Characters of Joyce were not just limited to him self, Joyce would use his extended family as a source for his characters and even some friends as well.
He would use them as models of life's personalities and even incorporated some of their experiences into his stories (Brunsdale 144-145). Sometimes Joyce's character sketches, which were a series of related events in chronological order, would have large gaps in them. Joyce made sure his characters were perfect for what he wanted to do with them and therefore he would remove parts of the character that he felt were useless or would affect the way the character was portrayed and what the character was meant to do. Anything that effected Joyce's characters, whether a positive or a negative event was perfectly planned out and he made sure nothing would diminish what he was try to show (Rice 313). Another major way Joyce would get his point across was by the use of epiphanies in his stories. An epiphany is a sudden spiritual manifestation where an object, scene, event or memorable phrase brings something to light (Anderson 142).
The manifestation that occurred would be out of proportion Besmer 7 to make sure he got his point across. Joyce used these epiphanies throughout his stories and planned them all out just like any other event that would effect his character. Characters would realize and understand things once the epiphanies occurred (Brunsdale 119). Some of the epiphanies were small while others were extremely major. The formation of characters played an important part in Joyce's themes.
While the characters learned, so did the reader. Not just in the epiphanies though. The reader would learn about the background of the story and the setting as the characters did in the book did. This occurred a lot in Joyce's Dubliners (Halper 47). Joyce made it seem like the reader was in the book with the characters.
Also the background was used to build on the characters and influence what the characters thought. Once again as the characters were influenced so were the readers. This style of writing was very influential in Joyce's time and still is today as many other authors try to bring the readers into their novels. Joyce also used words in satirical manners (Benitudh 154).
This helped him influence his readers to an even greater extent. As time went on his reader had problems understanding whether or not to take certain words seriously. It all depended on how Joyce would use the world and the affect the word had on its readers. Joyce also used complex words in his books to describe something he would use elaborate words and go into great detail (Kiely 12).
Not only did Joyce use satire, he would also use national, mythological, religious and legendary details in ironic ways constantly twisting Besmer 8 things around to show people what he was saying and to see other points of view. Joyce would place hidden meaning behind all of these ironic and twisted details as well as expanding on them as far as he could to make it clear for his readers (Church 201). As he expanded he would link all of the details together to create what he wanted to show and get his point across to the reader. Everything he wrote was connected to something else in the story. Nothing was ever left unfinished or all by itself. His books were like giant puzzles and you needed ever piece connected to complete the puzzle or book.
Females also played a major role in Joyce's stories. To express other points of view on a situation Joyce would give that point of view by introducing female character. These views were all seen through Joyce's eyes and enhanced by his fantasies. Even though the women appeared to be one-dimensional they had a lot of depth in them. Looking into a female in Joyce's stories would allow the reader to see things for different perspectives and those perspectives tended to be the one of Joyce (Rice 327).
Women also were used to symbolize things, such as temptation and mortality. Joyce wouldn't just use women to symbolize things. He sometimes combined men and women for symbolization. The combination of men and women in Joyce's stories were sometimes used to symbolize fathers and mothers, or politics and religion (Rice 330). Joyce insisted on using symbols to help get his points across and sometimes made his symbols so blunt and out in the Besmer 9 open so that it was impossible for the reader to not see what Joyce was trying to say. All of his books carried major suggestions that Joyce had made up.
Mainly the suggestions were Joyce's beliefs on certain topics of his time. All of Joyce's styles helped him create what he wanted to show. Everything that Joyce had learned and experienced in his life influenced him and his thoughts and Joyce felt that he should show everyone what he was thinking about. Joyce wanted to enlighten everyone with his thoughts and try to persuade them into believing in what he believed in.
Every little thing Joyce encountered effected his writing and he made his writing to what he thought was perfect. Besmer 10 Bibliography Levin, Harry. James Joyce, Norfolk, Connecticut: New Direction Publishing Company, 1960. Ellmann, Richard. The Consciousness of Joyce, New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Garvin, John.
James Joyce Disrupted Kingdom, Dublin, Ireland: Harper and Row Publishing Inc. , 1976. Brunsdale, Mti z. James Joyce A study of the Short Fiction, New York: T wayne Publishing, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1982. Benitudh, Bernard. James Joyce, New York, Fredrick Unger Publishing Company, 1985.
Anderson, Chester. James Joyce and His World, New York: Viking Press, 1968. Rice, Jackson. James Joyce a Guide to Research, New York: Garland Publishing, 1982.
Church, Margaret. Structure and Themes to James Joyce, Columbus, Ohio: Ohio St. University, 1983. Halper, Nathan.
The Early James Joyce, New York: Columbia University Press, 1973. Kiely, Robert. Beyond Egotism: James Joyce, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1980.