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Asian Social Science Vol. 6, No. 9; September 2010 An Analysis of Stream-of-Consciousness Technique in To the Lighthouse Yanxia Sang Basic English Department, Dezhou University No. 566, West Road ofthe University, Dezhou 253023, Shandong, China E-mail: dz_syx(^ 126.com, dzm2J(^126.com Abstract Virginia Woolf, one of the prominent representatives of modemist novelist in England, has contributed significantly to the development of modem novel in both theory and practice. She abandoned fraditional fictional devices and formulated her own distinctive techniques. The novels of Woolf tend to be less concemed with outward reality than with the inner life. Her masterpiece. To the Lighthouse, serves as an excellent sample in analyzing Woolf's literary theory and her experimental techniques.This paper deals with the use of modem stream-of-consciousness literary techniques: indirect interior monologue and free association. Keywords: Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse, Stream-of-Consciousness technique 1. When we mention Virginia Woolf's To the lighthouse, it's very natural to talk about her stream-of-consciousness technique. In this novel, the stmcture of extemal objective events is diminished in scope and scale, or almost completely dissolved. It is composed of the continual activity of characters' consciousness and shower of impressions. Extemal events occupy little space in the novel compared to the rich development ofthe response to these events. We can also find in this novel the writer as an omniscient narrator has almost completely vanished and almost everything stated appears by way of reflection in the consciousness of the dramatic characters. And the novel does not progress on "what-happens-next" basis, but rather moves forward through a series of scenes arranged according to a sequence of selected moments of consciousness. And the techniques to which Mrs. Woolf mainly employs are interior monologue and free association. 2. Interior Monologue 2.1 Interior Monologue Defined Interior monologue is a term that is most often confused with sfream-of-consciousness. It is used more accurately than the latter, since it is a rhetorical term and properly refers to a literary technique. But even this tenn is in need of more precise definition, and it is greatly in need of more limited application, if it is to be a useful critical term. Edouard Dujardin, who claims to have used interior monologue first in his novel Les Lauriers Sont Coupes{\8Sl), once gave us his definition of the technique. But his definition is not standard and accurate enough to be relied on, because he defined interior monologue as: "the speech of a character in a scene, having for its object to infroduce us directly into the interior life of that character, without author intervention through explanations or commentaries;... it differs from traditional monologue in that: in its matter, it is an expression of the most intimate thought that lies nearest the unconscious; in its form, it is produced in direct phrases redueed to the minimum of syntax."

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