Ulysses' Dog Images

If we examine Ulysses for the use of animals, we soon realize that Joyce draws on an extensive bestiary which includes basilisks, wrens, pigs, eagles, hyenas, panthers, pards, pelicans, roebucks, unicorns, dogs, bats, whales and serpents among others. All the beasts included in Ulysses carry symbolic meaning which is closely linked to the characters themselves and to the circumstances they are in. Interestingly enough, not much has been written about Joyce's imagery as far as animals are concerned. There are some interesting journal articles but they do not go beyond analyzing porcine, cattle and horse images in Ulysses. Rather than covering a wide range of beasts and their meanings, this paper will focus on the analysis of canine imagery throughout the book and will attempt to unravel its meaning in the story.

The first evident observation when dealing with dog images is the recurrent use of the word dog and its derivatives throughout the book. Take for example, Chapter 1 (Telemachus) where Buck Mulligan, who was shaving himself, kindly calls Stephen "dogsbody" (112) before asking him how the secondhand breeks fitted him. According to Gifford, this was a colloquial use of the term for a person who does odd jobs,...

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