Stream of Conciousness Essay

969 WordsDec 25, 20124 Pages
The Stream of Consciousness …in each of us, when awake (and often when asleep), some kind of consciousness is always going on. There is a stream, a succession of states, or waves, or fields (or of whatever you please to call them), of knowledge, of feeling, of desire, of deliberation, etc., that constantly pass and re-pass, and that constitute our inner life. (Source: “Talks to Teachers”, by William James, http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/tt2.html) Stream of consciousness: …a literary technique which seeks to describe an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes. …[it] is regarded as a special form of interior monologue and is characterized by associative (and at times dissociative) leaps in syntax and punctuation that can make the prose difficult to follow, tracing as they do a character's fragmentary thoughts and sensory feelings. … In stream of consciousness, the speaker's thought processes are more often depicted as overheard [like if you were eavesdropping!] (or addressed to oneself). Stream-of-consciousness writing is strongly associated with the modernist movement. Its introduction in the literary context, transferred from psychology, is attributed to May Sinclair [(1862-1946) a popular British writer, very active as a suffragist, too]. [Some of the works using this technique are] Dorothy Richardson's Pilgrimage (1915-28), James Joyce's Ulysses (e.g. Molly Bloom's soliloquy), Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and The Waves, William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl, Jack Kerouac's On The Road, Hubert Selby Jr.'s Last Exit to Brooklyn. …The technique … has been used in visual mediums. Most notably, the British comedy troupe Monty Python used [it] in their sketches. The technique capitalises on the nonsensical absurdist humour that

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