Tuesday, April 15, 2008

episode 12 versus episode 13

episode twelve and episode thirteen seem to be set up in contrast to one another. this contrast begins with the homeric titles, before we even start to read the episodes. episode twelve is related to the cyclops. in homer's odyssey, the cyclops, polyphemus, is a character who attacks the hero, odysseus. in contrast, episode thirteen is related to nausicaa. in homer's odyssey, nausicaa is a character who looks after the hero, odysseus. similarly, in ulysses, we see the hero, bloom, being persecuted by his peers (particularly the citizen) in episode twelve and then admired by gerty in episode thirteen.

bloom's persecution in episode twelve is due in large part to his jewish heritage. the other men mock bloom for being a jew, and continually push him to the outside of the conversation. however, in episode thirteen, it is this jewish heritage which draws the attention of gerty. she is fascinated by his foreign nature, and we learn at the end of the episode, that molly, too, was drawn to bloom by his foreign nature. questioning why molly had chosen him over other suitors, she responded, "because you were so foreign from the others." i believe this is also an instance of parallax, as the same attribute is viewed differently by different people. in some instances, it has brought bloom harm, and it other instances it has brought him good.

additionally, the stylistic contrast of the two episodes is rather apparent. episode twelve is marked by long, complicated lists with drawn-out, run-on sentences; it is filled with tough, violent imagery that highlights the masculinity of the episode. on the other hand, episode thirteen is a relatively simple read with straightforward, though sometimes flowery, language; it relies on images of hopeless romanticism and the use of color to highlight the femininity of the episode.

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