James Joyce’s Quest for Home in Ulysses

An examination of the theme of home in James Joyce’s `Ulysses`.

This paper provides an examination of Joyce’s monumental Ulysses, and the hero’s quest for home in this work. The paper discusses the idea of home to be one’s internal universe, and shows how Joyce could be seen to be following Joseph Campbell’s steps of the hero. The paper suggests that Joyce can be seen to be making his Dublin as a home, not literally, but as a home of the heart.
`The word HOME has many connotations and many meanings, each different depending on the situation or the person. For some home means a place they live. For others, home it is where they feel the most comfortable. On a deeper level being at peace, being safe and being loved all could be called home. Mythologist Joseph Campbell explored the hero’s journey from that place of home to an adventure that brings him back again to that place of home This last idea of home has been explored in many works of literature. One example of this is Homer’s The Odyssey the classic hero’s journey story that is described as the standard path of the hero: he or she leaves what is known as home and goes on some type of adventure to test strength and faith. After he or she has proved him or her self. then comes the quest to go home. This is a literary staple motif, used by Homer, Virgil it even appears in the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy goes on this big adventure and spends the rest of the movie trying to get back home. James Joyce explored this hero’s journey home in his novel Ulysses. `T.S. Eliot was keenly interested in the use of the mythical method by James Joyce in ‘Ulysses,’ in which mythology and contemporary history are paralleled` (Donoghue).`