M'Intosh as a key to the role of the artist in James Joyce's Ulysses
Clemens, Thomas Craine
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M'Intosh is a minor character in Ulysses: but the symbolism he embodies gives him an important function in the novel. Several Joyceans have explained the significance of M'Intosh as a character; in relation to the total structure and development of Ulysses, however, all fail to give the man in the macintosh the importance his presence implies. M'Intosh is a real character, as the several observations of him demonstrate; but he is also a complex symbol. As a symbol, M'Intosh embodies associations from Dubliners. A Portrait, and Exiles, and he involves both Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus. As the alter ego of Bloom, M'Intosh's relationship to the rain-protection imagery points out Bloom's spiritual paralysis; his identification with James Duffy indicates the nature of Bloom's paralysis; and as the subject for Bloom's reveries he reveals Bloom's sense of humanity as well as his failings. As the alter ego of Stephen, M'Intosh's relationship to the raincoat imagery illustrates Stephen's spiritual paralysis; his identification with James Duffy and the other artists, Gabriel Conroy and Richard Rowan, indicates the nature of Stephen's failure as an artist; and his identification with James Mangan serves to point out Stephen's capability of becoming a creative artist. As e comment on the characters of Bloom and Stephen, M'Intosh underscores, in addition, the movement of Ulysses. As applied Bruno, the coincidence of contraries in M'Intosh symbolizes the meeting of Stephen and Bloom and the development of Stephen into an artist.