Ulysses Essay

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Monahan has a Ph.D. in English and operates an editing service, The Inkwell Works. In the following essay, Monahan discusses some reader expectations and how in Ulysses Joyce surprises with new technique and focus.

Ulysses is an inordinately complex novel, in part because it unhinges readers’ expectations of what a novel is supposed to be. Those who appreciate novels and know something of the form’s development in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries come to Joyce’s novels expecting certain features with which they are familiar: a recognizable narrator or combination of narrators and a clear point of view; a mostly chronological storyline; a consistent style along with standard mechanical elements such as punctuation and quotation marks; introductory and concluding parts to sections which provide framework and ease comprehension. Without even knowing it, readers may come to Joyce’s work with...

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This section contains 2,390 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ulysses Study Guide
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