The whole novel takes place on a single day: June 16, 1904. The theme of the novel, implied by the quest or journey (also a trip in the human mind) , is moral: human life means suffering, falling, but also struggling to rise and seek the good. Ulysses tells the story of a day in the life of advertising salesman Leopold Bloom. During this day three main characters: Leopold Bloom (everybody, the whole of mankind), his wife Marion Bloom (represent sensual nature and fecundity), and Stephan Dedalus(pure intellect) that wake up, have various encounters in Dublin, and go to sleep eighteen hours later.
The central character, Leopold Bloom is Joyce’s common man. During his wanderings he meets the indigent writer Stephen Dedalus (he is considered Joyce alter ego). Stephen becomes momentarily Bloom’s adopted son: the alienated common man rescues the alienated artist and takes him home. At home there is Molly, the Bloom’s wife, a voluptuous singer who is planning an afternoon of adultery with her music director. The plot isn't important. Characters are based on Homeric models (Ulysses, Thelemacus, Penelope). Epic values are turned over. Events are seen from the inside of the characters' minds. Joyce combined several methods to present a variety of matters (stream of consciousness technique, the cinematic technique, flashbacks, suspension of speech, etc) creating the so-called “collage technique”, quite similar to the techniques used by the cubist artist who depicted a scene from all perspectives. Joyce use the interior monologue and there are two levels of narration: One external to the character’s mind; The other internal with the character’s thoughts flowing freely without any interruption coming from the external world. --> ( The language is rich in images, contrasts, paradoxes, symbols etc. He use also the slang, nicknames, foreign words, literary quotations and allusions to other texts.