Tracing the Mythic Journey in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses
AuthorFaisal, Hafiz Shahriar
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This thesis is an attempt to illustrate the mythic dimension of James Joyce’s works. Two of his novels The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses have been taken for the study of this thesis. This thesis mainly focuses on the aspects of the journey in the two novels of Joyce, and highlights the significance of the journey as it transforms itself from a regular journey into a journey of profound discovery and realization. The metamorphosis of the journey from everyday experience to something which is profound and insightful in its realization is what this thesis has termed as the “mythic journey”. A mythic journey is a journey where time and space are transcended, where the only moment left is the here and now. This thesis looks at the “creative reality” Joyce has presented in his novels, a reality which is the individual’s own experience of the world revealing within him the significance and splendor of life. In this “creative reality” there exist no time or space as a totally different dimension persists in which human beings are not recognized by their name, or by their nationality or religion. All these are transcended through myth and what is essentially left is the pure human being, which is a potentiality, a process of becoming. This process of becoming is what Joyce has shown in his novel through a journey, and this journey has been called a mythic journey. To provide a better conceptual understanding of myth and other issues which this thesis essentially deals with, works and documentaries of mythologist Joseph Campbell, and along with Campbell’s works, Alan Watts’s book Myth and Rituals in Christianity have been used.