The Literature Review of the Third Episode of the Ulysses

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

The third episode in Joyce’s Ulysses opens with Stephen walking on a beach, ever contemplating his thoughts, on his way to go visit his Uncle, he is thinking through how there is somewhat of a difference between the real-life world, and what he sees through his eyes. There is very little action in this episode, it mainly consists of Stephen’s thoughts and dialogue. Consequently, because Stephen is a highly educated man, his thoughts seem to drift back and forth between different scholarly references, and texts that he studies. Furthermore, he suddenly stumbles upon two midwives, and quite morbidly starts to think about how one of the midwives has miscarried, and the child is in her bag with the umbilical cord still attached. He seems rather lost amongst his thoughts as his Uncle Richie drones on about different random topics. Following this, Stephen considers going to his Aunt Sarah’s house, but he has suddenly passed the way to his Aunt Sarah’s house, and questions himself as to why he was even planning to go there in the first place. So, he keeps on walking and letting his thoughts drift about.

The episode continues on when Stephen remembers when he was thriving in Paris, and then suddenly receives a telegram from his father. It says that his mother is dying and that he must come home now. He then recalls how his Aunt blames him for his mother’s death, because he refused to pray for her at her deathbed. Stephen is still on the beach at this point, and a dead carcass of a dog washes up on the beach, all seems like his brain thinks very morbidly, touches on a lot of death, and violence. During this episode, Stephen’s mind becomes very disconnected, flying from thought to thought. He has now come up to a large tower in the distant, he seems to be quite unsettled by this tower, says he will not be sleeping there tonight with Buck and Haines.

This episode largely focuses and ties back to Proteus: “the term “protean” is used to refer, not only to beings that can change shape, but also to people who can exhibit different moods or personalities in different situations” ( 1). In this scenario, it is referring to all of the shapeshifting that is occurring, such as the dog turning into different animals, such as a wolf, panther etc. Also, representing Stephen’s thought processing during this episode, as most of the time, new topics are introduced by one-word responses. Stephen then sees the man and the woman that are walking the live dog, he sees on the beach. He starts to think about the dream that he had last night, which was a sexual encounter, and it makes him realize that he misses the affection from a women.


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