Michael Groden - Notes on James Joyce's Ulysses
Aeolus: Thoughts and Questions
1) In The Odyssey Aeolus is the god of the winds, and Joyce interprets this in at least two ways. The episode is full of movement of all kinds (people, machines, etc.) and of images and language involving "wind" (see, for example 7:303-12). And Joyce turns "wind" into "windy talk" of all kinds: conversation, newspaper writing, formal speeches. Note that the "art" of the episode in Joyce's schema is "rhetoric." Look for the many different ways that rhetoric--figures of speech, formal speeches--is used in the episode.
2) Using a bag of winds given to him by Aeolus, Odysseus almost gets back home to Ithaca. He gets close enough to be able to see the island, but his men look in the bag, and they are all blown back to Aeolus' island. Look for ways in which getting near the goal but not reaching it figures in the episode.
3) The newspaper headlines or captions have their own movement through the episode. Notice how they proceed from the beginning to the end of the episode.
4) Bloom and Stephen are both without keys, and Bloom is now trying to place an ad for a tea, wine, and spirit merchant named Alexander Keyes. Note the way that Keyes wants his ad to appear (7:141-51).
5) Look at the 3 formal speeches that are quoted in the episode: by Dan Dawson (7:243-49, 295, 320-28), Seymour Bushe (7:768-71), and John F. Taylor (7:814-69). Are there any similarities among these speeches?
6) The editor Myles Crawford tells how Ignatius Gallaher (Little Chandler's friend who visits Dublin from London in "A Little Cloud" in Dubliners) cabled the escape route of an assassin's car to a New York newspaper (7:626-77). Can you figure out how Gallaher did it? Does this method have any relevance to Ulysses itself?
7) Stephen tells sort of a story at the end (7:915-1062, with interruptions). Is it like a story from Dubliners?