Paper topics
Paper #2
English 334:  JOYCE
Professor Conrad

Length:  6-8 pages
Due date:  April 14 (note date change!)

You are encouraged to come up with your own paper topic or project, but feel free to use or modify one of the topics I have suggested below.  All papers should give evidence of close reading of the text being discussed.

You may write on either Dubliners or Portrait; see paper topics #1 for ideas.  Do not write on the same text on which you
wrote your first paper.

You may choose to combine the final two papers into one long paper or project.  If you do so, Finnegans Wake is also an option.

You may choose a non-traditional project, but please check with me if you do.  [I may suggest some here at a later date.]

There will be paper topics for paper #3 coming shortly.


1.  Explore one of the following concepts/metaphors as it appears in Ulysses.  You are encouraged to focus as much as
possible; feel free to limit yourself to one chapter, or a very particular metaphor (snotgreen instead of green, etc.)

dogs (&/or foxes)
butter (&/or milk)

2.  Leopold Bloom likes the "fine tang of faintly scented urine" (4.4).  His last name is Bloom; the patronymic of his pseudonym is Flower.  He imagines his penis as a "languid floating flower" (5.571-2).  What's the relationship between flowers and urine (and/or flowers and penises)?

3.  What does Bloom carry in his pockets and why might those items be important?

4.  Pick a chapter of the book; examine its style, Odyssean correspondences, topical concerns, etc.  What reading practice--that is, what modes of reading and/or interpretation--does Joyce seem to be espousing or at least presenting in that chapter?

5. Examine the heresies of Arius, Valentine, and Sabellius (see in particular the notes in Gifford, p. 26).  Why is Stephen so interested in heretics?  Which kind(s) of heretic does Stephen seem to be?

6.  There are many texts to which Ulysses aludes--King Lear, Hamlet, the Bible, the Odyssey, Irish ballads, Plato's Symposium, Yeats poems, operas, etc.  Examine one of the allusions in context; how is Joyce (and/or the character) using the text?  What is the point of the allusion?  What does the allusion suggest about the relationship between Ulysses and the text to which it alludes? Given the length of the paper, you should probably focus your inquiry very narrowly.