Odyssey of the Psyche: Jungian Patterns in Joyce's Ulysses

Synopsis

In Jean Kimball's Jungian reading of Ulysses, Joyce's artist-hero Stephen Dedalus confronts in Leopold Bloom a hitherto unconscious aspect of his personality. The result of this confrontation, Kimball argues as a central tenet in her unique reading of Ulysses, is the gradual development of a relationship between the two protagonists that parallels C. G. Jung's descriptions of the encounter between the Ego and the Shadow in that stage of his theoretical individuation process called "the realization of the shadow". These parallels form a unifying strand of meaning that runs throughout this multidimensional novel and is supported by the text and contexts of Ulysses. Kimball has provided here the first comprehensive study of the relationship between Jungian psychology and Joyce's Ulysses. Bucking critical trends, she focuses on Stephen rather than Bloom. She also notes certain parallels - synchronicity - in the lives of both Jung and Joyce, not because the men influenced one another but because they speculated about personality at the same historical time. Finally, noting that both Jung and Joyce came from strong Christian backgrounds, she asserts that the doubleness of the human personality fundamental to Christian theology is carried over into Jung's psychology and Joyce's fiction.