Stream of Consciousness

Stream of Consciousness

Question: What is Stream of Consciousness?


The term “stream of consciousness” is a narrative method in modern fiction that was coined by William James in his “The Principles of Psychologyin 1890. It refers to the unbroken flow of perceptions, thoughts, and feelings in the waking mind. To put it differently, it is a style or technique of writing that tries to capture the natural flow of a character’s extended thought process, incomplete ideas, unusual syntax, and rough grammar.

The definition of stream of consciousness

According to Oxford Learner Dictionary, “Stream of Consciousness means a continuous flow of ideas, thoughts, and feelings, as they are experienced by a person; a style of writing that expresses this without using the usual methods of description and conversation”

The origin of the stream of consciousness

The origin of the stream of consciousness is from 20th century Novel when psychologists coined the term to describe the constant flow of subjective thoughts, feelings, memories, and observations. At the very outset of 20th century, literary critics began to use the term “stream of consciousness” to compose a narrative technique pioneered by writers like Dorothy Richardson, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf.

Relation of the stream of consciousness and the interior monologue

Stream of consciousness and interior monologue are both differentiated from dramatic monologue and soliloquy, in which the speaker says about an audience or a third person, which are mainly used in poetry or drama. Stream of consciousness has been interchangeably used by some critics with the term interior monologue. It refers to the presentation of a character’s thoughts to the reader.

Click here: For all the notes of History of English Literature


In termination, it is vividly clear that the stream of consciousness is the best narrative technique for writing in the 20th century Novel.

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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