With many references to the early 20th-century context of modernism, life in Dublin and Ireland’s relationship to Britain, Ulysses depicts the life of three Dubliners, thus it’s divided into three parts:
In the FIRST PART (Telemachia) the main character is Stephen Dedalus, the Joycean alter ego. He represents Telemachus of the Odyssey, a young writer and an aesthete with intellectual ambitions.
The leading character in the SECOND PART (Odyssey) is Leopold Bloom, the Ulysses of the title. He is a middle-aged, Jewish, married man, who wanders around Dublin as Ulysses wandered around the Mediterranean. He represents the sensual man.
The THIRD PART (Nostos) is dominated by Leopold’s unfaithful wife, Molly Bloom, who is a stand-in for Ulysses’s wife Penelope.
There are 18 chapters, each one each one mirroring an Odyssey episode. This constant parallel with myth enables Joyce to order episodes of ordinary life into a structure of eternal meaning
This novel completely redefines the English language, which is now experimental, rich in symbolism, allegory, and details, and increasingly rejects logical sequences and conventional syntax.
As a matter of fact, Joyce recurs to the ‘stream of consciousness’ technique. This is a literary device in which the writer imitates the thoughts, memories and sensations of an individual’s consciousness. Joyce uses different devices, such as lack of punctuation, puns, onomatopoeic words and styles ranging from dialogue to interior monologues and unspoken soliloquies.
In this way, thoughts and memories are freed from the restrictions of punctuation and grammar. The voice of Molly (whose monologue is the most famous part of the novel) becomes the apotheosis of English modernism.