Stream of consciousness and joyce

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  • Publicado : 27 de octubre de 2010
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The technique of the stream of the consciousness[1]

The phrase “stream of the consciousness” was used for the first time by William James in Principles of Psychology (1890). In 1918 it was introduced into the literary criticism by May Sinclair.

The stream of the consciousness works in the passive mind instead of the active mind that means that it explores the hidden world or thesubconscious of the character. In this way, the reader not only contemplates the depths of the human personality, but also the flow of the thoughts as they occur in mind of the character.

The technique of stream of the consciousness emphasizes the explorations of the pr-language levels of the consciousness in order to show the psychic being of the character. Therefore, this technique allows thereader to experience the sensations and ideas which can not be shown with words or images. The novelist of stream of the consciousness is interested in presenting the personality and the experiences of the character in an artistic way.

Many literary critics related the technique with some artistic movements. Firstly with symbolism because when the reader is in the mind of the characters, he or sheis in a complicated and special world; it is a fantastic and unclear world as the world of the symbolic poet. In this way there is a relationship between the interior monologue and the symbolic monologue because both of them make a complicated association of ideas and invent a special language in order to show the individual personality of each character. On the other hand, the technique of thestream of consciousness was associated with the impressionist movement because both of them first represented the world in a spontaneous way and secondly explored the intimated world of the human being and thirdly, made objective what was subjective.

Furthermore, a distinctive feature of the novel that uses stream of consciousness is the management of psychological time. It is an unlimited amultidirectional process. It can not be counted and it can not be represented by symbolic representations such as hours, days and months. Due to this, there is a discrepancy between psychological and chronological time. Consequently, the time of the mind is represented symbolically as a river that flows with memories and visions. That is to say, the stream of the human experiences consists of amixture of memories with wishes; in other words, the present loses its static nature and it fades away in the past and in the future. With regard to this idea, William James said that the knowledge of the past and the future is always mixing with the knowledge of the present time. Retrospective time and perspective time give continuity to the conscious.

The way to present the stream of theconsciousness is trough the followings methods:

1. Direct language: the speech uses to express feelings and thoughts are in first person. The character is who speaks.

2. Indirect language: it is when the feelings and thoughts of the character are expressed by means of a speech in third person.

3. No spoken direct language: the speech used is in first person, just as interior monologue, but it ismore coherent.

4. Omniscient description: the author describes according to his or her viewpoint what happens around and inside of the characters.

5. “Erlebete Rede”: the thoughts and feelings are transmitted by means of indirect and direct speech. However, it has neither the main characteristic of the direct speech which is the use of the first person nor the main characteristic of theindirect speech which is the use of expressions such as “he said” or “he thought”. The narrator is and is not in the story because everything is seen from the perspective of the character but the used of the third person means that the author has a roll into the story.

6. Interior monologue: Dujardin said that the interior monologue as a common monologue was a speech of the character which has as...
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