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What is the stream of conciousness in James Joyce´s "The Dead"?

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asiedua | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 28, 2010 at 6:35 PM via web

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What is the stream of conciousness in James Joyce´s "The Dead"?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 12, 2010 at 1:07 AM (Answer #1)

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Stream of consciousness is a method of narration that Joyce pioneered in his work. The fullest literary expression of this form of narration is arguably his tour de force Ulysses. Stream of consciousness tries to present the written equivalent of the thoughts that a character is experiencing or undergoing in a kind of loose interior monologue. We can see this style clearly in "The Dead" as the narrative presents us with Gabriel Conroy´s thoughts and actions. We have unlimited access to the flow of Gabriel´s thoughts and feelings when he is leaving the party with his wife Gretta:

He had felt proud and happy then, happy that she was his, proud of her grace and wifely carriage. But now, after the kindlingagain of so many memories, the first touch of her body, musical and strange and perfumed, sent through him a keen pang of lust.

We follow and can trace the path of his thoughts and flashbacks, giving us unfettered access to his feelings and emotions.

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