Stream of Consciousness: 1. A literary technique that presents the thoughts and feelings of a character as they occur. 2. Psychology The conscious experience of an individual regarded as a continuous, flowing series of images and ideas running through the mind. —The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Faulkner uses a literary technique called "stream of consciousness" to explore and expose the unspoken thoughts of his characters. For example, Darl Bundren in As I Lay Dying thinks: "I am I and you are you and I know it and you dont know it and you could do so much for me if you just would and if you just would then I could tell you and then nobody would have to know it except you and me and Darl" (p. 51). Or consider The Sound and the Fury when Quentin Compson remembers: "A face reproachful tearful an odor of camphor and of tears a voice weeping steadily and softly beyond the twilit door the twilight-colored smell of honeysuckle" (p.95).
We think you can write just like Faulkner! Follow this step-by-step exercise and see where your stream of consciousness takes you! There's no going back, no erasing, no crossing-out—just keep writing and go with the flow!
What You'll Need:
Published on January 01, 2006