Ulysses is one of the highly discussed novels of English literature from different points of view. The nature of complexity lies almost in every aspect of the novel. By forming the complex nature of the novel, Joyce has tried to capture the complex nature of modern life in his novel. Ulysses is one of the crucial novels to take the concept of modernism in English literature.
The very first nature of Joyce's complexity lies in the subject matter of the novel. The subject matter of the novel has been derived from the Homer's epic. Ulysses is a modern reconstruction of Homer's epic. Ulysses was James Joyce's first epic length novel. When Joyce began writing his novel Ulysses, he had in mind a creative project that brought together aspects of his two major works Dubliners and portrait of the artist as a young man. Joyce's technique of characterization also gives another nature of the complexity of the novel. There are numbers of characters jumbled in the novel. Leopold Bloom, Stephen Dedalus, Molly Bloom, Hung are some of the important characters. The activities that the characters show are very unusual and completely far from the reader's expectation in the novel. Their performances are completely different than any other characters of any other novel. One should be very critical and tentative towards Joyce's characterization to get the meaningful vision from the novel. So his way of characterization carries the nature of complexity in the novel.
In the same way the construction of plot structure is another feature of complexity in Joyce's Ulysses. The whole book encompasses a total of eighteen chapters tracing the action of various Dubliners beginning at 8 AM on the day of June 16, 1904. There is not any chronological development in the holistic development of plot structure. Every event is individual in its own position. So the unexpected and irregular development of plot structure adds another feature of complexity in the holistic feature of the novel. In the same way the use of the theme of the novel is another nature of Joyce's complexity in the novel. To represent the very complex human condition, he sometimes touched the mythical aspects, sometimes comes in day to day life field and sometimes becomes more concrete and sometimes more abstract too. So there is not any single theme in the entire novel. At this point too the novel possesses the nature of complexity.
Ulysses is by nature a complex novel. It marked the unfolding, the culmination, the emulation and the termination of an experimental modernism. Ulysses is the highest rung on the ladder of modernism. It narrativize the problem of alienation, estrangement and exile. James Joyce has made a complicated use of an experimentally complicated narrative technique. The inherent complexity in Ulysses is the natural product of the naturally relevant balance between the complicated theme and the sophisticated narrative technique.
Unlike other effigy-figures in the province of modernist literature James Joyce has dramatized the themes pertaining to the myth of alienation, estrangement and exile. To narrativize these grand modernist themes, traditional narrative techniques are insufficient. The narrative techniques had their own limitations. The modernist themes like the myth of alienation and exile needed an experimental techniques like the stream of consciousness and an evocation of mythic parallel. These new complicated narrative methods enabled the novelist to project the dominant modernist themes. Hence the novel is marked by Crucial complexity. The nature of complexity is not a matter of surprise.
The form of the novel, selections of words, sentence structure all lies in very compressed and complex construction. And not only that, but also the very context of the novel is also in complex positions. 1922 is the most critical period in English literature as well as real historical background. The problems created in different aspects due to the cause of First World War were very attentively observed by Joyce and Eliot. Joyce in his novel Ulysses also tries to capture this sort of complex reality of contemporary contextual dimensions. Thus, James Joyce decorated his novel Ulysses in the position of very complex formation in different layers. Whether we see his way of characterization, or the manner of plot structure or the position word, sentence. Formation or the concern of thematically aspects or the representation of the contextual dimension everywhere Joyce uses the nature of complexity in this novel Ulysses. But though he uses the technique of complexity in this novel he tries to depict the complex human life, complex human positions and complexity of every corner of our day to day life with the reference of contextual period. He indirectly presents the ironical dimension to have the improvement in our position throughout the novel. So the novel consist the nature of complexity in different layers.