Stream of consciousness is a narrative style that tries to capture a character’s thought process in a realistic way. Nausea is both a psychological and philosophical masterpiece of Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), written in the form of a diary. The very beginning of the novel resembles a diary record of Antoine Roquentin. He is the protagonist of this novel. Then the narration of this novel turns into a historic journal ending with philosophical theses on existentialism.
More Notes: Nausea
All the events in the novel are described from Roquentin’s perspective. Sartre here uses the technique, that is called the stream of consciousness or the first-person narrative technique. The first-person narrative technique is a very effective means of exposing an individual’s internal thought processes and struggles with the nature of his own consciousness.
Here, in this novel, the reader is thus involved in Roquentin’s perceptions of the world around him. His efforts to wrestle with the nature and the meaning of his own existence and life. This narrative technique provides us with an insight into an individual’s psychology rather than a concern for societal issues. Antoine Roquentin is a person who tries to measure his individual significance. Thus, the stream of consciousness makes the novel unique and meaningful to its readers.