In Portrait Of Lost Time By Joyia Woolf Narrative Analysis

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Memory and Narrative in Proust’s, Joyce’s, and Woolf’s Novels Memory is important to Modernism, because of its relationship to the past. By using experimental form, modernists were able to reach a deeper level of understanding of the views, ideals, and thoughts they espoused. Three works that exemplify the exploratory form are In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, and The Waves by Virginia Woolf. In charting the formation of an artist, each novel functions as a Künstlerroman, moving through a lifetime using memory. The different type of narrative form in each novel changes the way memory is perceived and understood by the reader. Joyce and Proust make the reader feel as on onlooker …show more content…
He states, “I must tell you a story – there are so many, and so many – stories of childhood, stories of school, love, marriage, death and so on” (Woolf, 238). These stories that he tell become the subject of the novel till its end. The form gives memory a completely different character then the beginning of the novel because of the way that these stories are described. Instead of being established as a fact of a childhood life, memory instead is characterized by being a story, a fictional story at that. This emphasizes the inner-workings of the mind more so than the plot. Readers are given another layer of memory to consider by changing the form in this …show more content…
In Search of Lost Time begins with the narrator, as an adult, consciously retelling his childhood memories. In contrast, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man begins by immersing the reader, after a short introduction of “Once upon a time,” into the story of a young boy (Joyce, 68). The reader is not explicitly told that the narrator is remembering these events; however, that is assumed based on the movements and tenses used to describe the past events. Lastly, Woolf’s The Waves does not include the same amount of “remembering.” Instead, the six main characters’ internal soliloquies allow for the immersion into the present as the reader “lives” the whole of the characters’ lives with them. However, the speaker of each internal soliloquy is identified in the text by sentences that, for example, include, “said Bernard” or “said Neville” (Woolf, 9). This shows that the soliloquies are a retelling, through the medium of some person that is writing down what the characters have said. This continues throughout the novel until the end where one character, Bernard, takes over the narrative. In doing so, he looks back upon his life and retells various stories through his perspective that the reader has already experienced throughout the novel. By doing this, the novel switches from telling the present through each character to the retelling of the past by

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