AD's English Literature : Answered: Stream of Consciousness Technique; English psychological novel; ‘Interior Monologue’

Friday, September 28, 2012

Answered: Stream of Consciousness Technique; English psychological novel; ‘Interior Monologue’

Q. What is known as Stream of Consciousness technique?

Ans: The significant feature of contemporary fiction is the movement towards greater inwardness. Stream of Consciousness, literary technique, first used in the late 19th century, employed to evince subjective as well as objective reality. It reveals the character's feelings, thoughts, and actions, often following an associative rather than a logical sequence, without commentary by the author. It has a progression in the direction of inwardness of the characters from the earliest impression.

Q. Who first coined the phrase “The stream of consciousness”?

Ans: The stream of consciousness is a phrase coined by William James in his Principles of Psychology to describe a particular narrative method.

Q. Who first had begun the tradition of writing “The streamof consciousness” novel?

Ans: Many a novelists use an in-depth analysis to describe the unspoken thoughts or conventional dialogue. But, technically the trend was begun by the French novelist Dujardin’s novel The Laurels. The technique was adopted and developed by Joyce himself, D. Richardson, V. Woolf, M. Prout and others in English.

Q. Are Stream of Consciousness technique and ‘interior monologue’ the same?

Ans: The ability to represent the flux of character thoughts, impressions, emotions and memories often without logical sequences or syntax, marked a revolution in the form of the novel. The related phrase ‘interior monologue’ is also used to describe the inner movements of consciousness in a character’s mind.  However, Stream of consciousness is often confused with interior monologue, but the latter technique works the sensations of the mind into a more formal pattern: a flow of thoughts inwardly expressed, similar to a soliloquy. The technique of stream of consciousness, however, attempts to portray the remote, preconscious state that exists before the mind organizes sensations. Consequently, the re-creation of a stream of consciousness frequently lacks the unity, explicit cohesion, and selectivity of direct thought.

Q. Whom do you rate as the first English psychological novelist?

Ans:  The first English psychological novelist is Dorothy Richardson who began her career with the 1915 novel Pointed Roofs. It is the first of a sequence of highly autobiographical novels entitled the Pilgrimage. Her novel Pilgrimage (1911-1938), a 12-volume sequence, is an intense analysis of the development of a sensitive young woman and her responses to the world around her.The last volume March Moonlight appeared posthumously. She was a pioneer of the stream of consciousness technique narrating the action through the mind of her heroin Marian Henderson, she believed in unpunctuated female prose and Virginia Woolf credited her with inventing the psychological sentence of the famine gender’. The novel is also important as a feminist one which enters fully into the struggles of a young, very gifted but at the same time utterly underprivileged woman in a world made by men for men.

Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert, 
      2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature

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