Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Following Louis Althusser‘s and Slavoj Zizek‘s analyses of ideology, then, I want to explore the representations of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom in terms of their response to the hegemonic discourses espoused by Catholicism and Nationalism (both linked to Empire). With this intention, I will concentrate on Episode Ten, ―"The Wandering Rocks,"since from the characters‘ actions and conversations as they intersect in the streets of Dublin we can extrapolate the ideological narratives in which Ireland was immersed at the time. I suggest that the personal struggle for ideological liberation Joyce initiated with Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait necessarily led to the development of Leopold Bloom because, by the beginning of Ulysses, it is apparent that Stephen is still too susceptible to the Roman Catholic ideology of his formative years. Even though the young Dedalus fights to overcome his limitations, precisely because of his upbringing he cannot rise above the principles inculcated by his family and his Jesuit education. Stephen thus becomes too partial a figure for Joyce‘s project, so a character like the Jewish salesman emerges as the main protagonist of this odyssey. Bloom‘s ―"multiplicity" visibly sets him apart from the ―"real" Irish men in Ulysses. At the same time, because of his plurality, Bloom manages to free himself from the artificial binary-pattern mentality that fixes the other male characters inside an ideology that can only perpetuate imperial exploitation.


Presented at Graduate English Association New Voices Conference 2008, pp. 1-14.