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The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

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What does the phrase "interior monologue" mean?

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Interior monologues are often those conversations you cannot bear to speak aloud to anyone-whether from fear or shame most often. Therefore, it is a conversation held only with yourself-often it is with dissatisfaction.

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Ah, good question. Start by breaking the term up.
"Interior" = it happens inside the character's head.
"mono" = one.
"-logue" comes from the Greek word for "word," and so together "monologue" means "one speaker."

Put it all together, and you get one speaker talking to him or her self inside his or her own head. If you've ever obsessed over something like a tough decision, and found yourself talking to yourself silently (What should I do? Well, I like this job, but that one pays more. What will my friends say?), you've had an interior monologue.

Greg

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