"To Ourselves:" Masculine Nationalisms in Joycenulls Ulysses
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Many of the interactions among the male characters of Ulysses involve discourses, either explicit or implied, of Irish nationalism. These discourses suggest a link between Irish nationalism and contemporary conceptions and assumptions of masculinity. Specifically, I will argue here that Joyce takes advantage of these conceptions of masculinity to frame the discussion of nationalism that takes place among Irish men throughout Ulysses. The interactions among men in the novel can be read as being demonstrative of a continuum of masculinity with hypermasculine on one end and emasculated on the other.null I argue that the discourses on Irish nationalism that take place among Irish men throughout the novel are organized according to this continuum in order to valorize nationalism. In other words, nationalism and ultimately Irishness are given value based on the degree of masculinity associated with them. Significantly, the correspondences between Irish nationalism and masculinity on this continuum are subjective. As interactions among men create this continuum, the place of one man and his understanding of Irish nationalism on it is not fixed. Rather, that place can and does change depending on the interaction that takes place. This suggests that these characters are implicitly aware of the correspondences between Irish nationalism and masculinity and conceive of themselves and others accordingly. What my argument will demonstrate is that Joyce writes not only with an awareness of the detrimental effects of British constructs of masculinity on Irishness, but also with a proposal for an alternative understanding of Irish national identity and masculinity. This alternative understanding reveals an additional, gendered aspect to Joycenulls critique of tenacious Irish nationalisms throughout the novel.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2006
- F&M Theses Collection