Mostly black and white illustration of nine letters, one of them has been opened

The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

Start Free Trial

What does the phrase "interior monologue" mean?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.


See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial