Stream of consciousness

What is Stream of Consciousness?

Definition: Stream of consciousness is a narrative technique that aims to capture the inner thoughts, feelings, and experiences of a character in an unfiltered and unstructured way. The technique is used to create a sense of psychological realism, as it allows the reader to experience the character’s thoughts and emotions in a direct and immediate way.

Stream of consciousness is often characterized by its lack of punctuation, grammar, or other formal devices, and by its use of fragmented sentences, incomplete thoughts, and free associations. The goal is to simulate the flow of the character’s consciousness, without imposing a structure or order on the experience.

Stream of consciousness is a popular technique in modernist literature, and it is often associated with the work of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. The technique can be used to explore a character’s psyche, to reflect on the nature of human consciousness, and to challenge traditional narrative structures and techniques.

Example Stream of consciousness:

In James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” the character of Molly Bloom is portrayed through a stream of consciousness narrative. The final chapter of the book is written entirely in Molly’s voice, as she lies in bed and reflects on her life, her marriage, and her desires. The narrative is characterized by its lack of punctuation and structure, as Molly’s thoughts flow freely and without restraint. The technique is used to create a sense of intimacy and immediacy, as the reader is given direct access to Molly’s innermost thoughts and emotions.

Another example, The mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf

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