Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Michael Patrick Gillespie

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ana Luszczynska

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Vernon Dickson

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Joyce, Ulysses, visual, printed, spatial, association, interpretation, epistemology, nonlinear

Date of Defense



The purpose of this thesis was to explore the ways the printed word in James Joyce’s Ulysses opens new and alternative paths towards the interpretation of the text. We show how it induces multiple chains of associations beyond the act of reading, which start at the visual, spatialized sequencing and contiguity of letters, words and sentences, their layout on the page, or the persistence or absence of punctuation.

After initial observations of the visual prevalence of the written word over its auditory capabilities as noted in the “Aeolus” chapter (e.g.: puns that can be realized only in writing; meanings that can be accessed not by reading but by observing the spatial arrangement of text), two other chapters of the book—“Ithaca” and “Penelope”— were analyzed to determine if such assumptions could be applied to other sections of the novel. Random passages from yet other sections were used as illustration. Our analysis suggests that throughout “Ulysses” meaning derivation may take place beyond the effect of rhetorical figures, and often can be the result of a visual/spatial associative chain.





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