Joyce class (2)

Two modes of Ulysses

  1. metaphor

    Stephen, catching sight of Mrs McCabe, a midwife, in the 'Proteus' episode:

    One of her sisterhood lugged me squealing into life. Creation from nothing. What has she in the bag? A misbirth with a trailing navelcord, hushed in ruddy wool. The cords of all link back, strandentwining cable of all flesh. That is why mystic monks. Will you be as gods? Gaze in your omphalos. Hello! Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one.

    Spouse and helpmate of Adam Kadmon: Heva, naked Eve. She had no navel. Gaze. Belly without blemish, bulging big, a buckler of taut vellum, no, whiteheaped corn, orient and immortal, standing from everlasting to everlasting. (3.35-44)

    [Here] the interior monologue proceeds by perceived similarities and substitutions. (umbilical cord -> telephone cable, midwife -> Genesis 1.1, his own birth -> that of the race; cords round the habits of monks, which are symbols of chastity and, when linked, of community in the mystical body of Christ; the images from the Iliad, Song of Songs 7.2, Thomas Traherne)

  2. metonymy

    Bloom, looking at his neighbour's servant girl, served before him in the pork butcher's [in the 'Calypso' episode]:

    A kidney oozed bloodgouts on the willowpatterned dish: the last. He stood by the nextdoor girl at the counter. Would she buy it too, calling the items from a slip in her hand? Chapped: washingsoda. And a pound and a half of Denny's sausages. His eyes rested on her vigorous hips. Woods his name is. Wonder what he does. Wife is oldish. New blood. No followers allowed. Strong pair of arms. Whacking a carpet on the clothesline. She does whack it, by George. The way her crooked skirt swings at each whack.

    The ferreteyed porkbutcher folded the sausages he had snipped off with blotchy fingers, sausagepink. Sound meat there: like a stallfed heifer. (4.145-153)

    His thought proceeds by associating items that are contiguous rather than, as Stephen, similar. (the girl -> her master -> the mistress -> her age -> the youth of the girl)

    [Lodge, 'The Language of Modernist Fiction', 485-486]


Lodge, David. 'The Language of Modernist Fiction: Metaphor and Metonymy' in Modernism. Eds. Malcolm Bradbury and James McFarlane. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1976.

Last updated: 13 November, 1996

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Quid prodest hoc ad aeternitatem
Professor Eiichi Hishikawa
Faculty of Letters, Kobe University