The Interior monologue:
William James coined the phrase “stream of consciousness” to define the continuous flow of thoughts that characterized the human mind. This definition was adopted by literary critics to define a kind of 20th-century literature which focused on this inner process.
At beginning of the 20th century writers gave more importance to subjective consciousness and understood it was impossible to reproduce the complexity of the human being using the traditional techniques and the utilized a new means of expression. They adopted the interior monologue to represent in a novel the unspoken activity of the mind. Interior monologue is often confused with the stream of consciousness but they are different: in fact the “interior monologue” is the verbal expression of a physical phenomenon while in the stream of consciousness is the psychic phenomenon itself.
The main features of interior monologue are:
-Its being a verbal expression of a physical phenomenon;
-Its being free from introductory expressions like “ he thought…ex”
-The presence of two different level of narration: one external of the character’s mind and the other internal.
-The lack of a chronological order and the lack of formal logical order and presence of subjective time
-The absence of punctuation
There are 4 main different kinds of interior monologue:
1.The indirect interior monologue:
Is characterized by:
-The author is present in the narration: character’s thoughts can be presented directly or by descriptions and comments or introductory phrases to guide the reader through the narrations;
-The character stays fixed in space while his consciousness moves freely in the time: in character’s mind everything happens in the present and this concept of “inner time” shows the relativism of a subjective experience.
2.Interior monologue with two levels of narration:
The interior monologue could have two different levels of narration (use of 3rd person narration), one external (second level of narration)to character’s mind and the other internal. It’s the chase of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
3.Interior monologue with the mind level of narration:
In this kind of interior monologue character’s thoughts flow freely, not interrupted by external events. We can find this kind of interior monologue in the final chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses where Molly when she is the bed, think about everything without a logical order of events and mixed present ,past and future events.
-dimensione atemporale / timeless dimension
-free flowing style
4.Extreme interior monologue:
This technique was adopted by James Joyce in “Finnegans Wake”. The narration take place in the mind of the main character while he is dreaming.,a sort of unconscious level where the writer use different word and free associations mixed to crate new expression