To The Lighthouse : The Importance of a Stream of Consciousness Narrative

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Virginia Woolf was one of the first authors to utilize the stream of consciousness narrative during its emergence in the early twentieth century. This literary device attempts to capture the realistic thought processes of the human mind in order to create a more true-to-life fiction, compared to the traditional plot and narrative. In her 1927 novel, “To the Lighthouse”, Virginia Woolf uses the stream of consciousness narrative in order to create a more intimate and relatable experience between her readers and the characters in her book. The stream of consciousness narrative emerged out of writers’ frustration with the “cookie-cutter” plot and narrative that had become so prevalent in modern society. Virginia Woolf’s illustrates this …show more content…
The stark separation between plot and character development in To the Lighthouse shows the reader a greater value of character development. In traditional narratives and plots, the reader seems to care more about the big events that happen in a book because the writer makes them more important. But in Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, the reader begins to see the importance in the everyday life and interactions that develop these characters. When a reader can understand the characters on a much deeper level through Woolf’s usage of the stream of consciousness narrative the reader can see the significance in even the smallest of events in each character’s life. For instance, when James’ father finally praises him in part three, the reader knows that this is of much more significance than one would think because James has been craving his father’s approval his entire life. The reader can see from one simple interaction that James is finally going to begin to recover from his father’s past dismissiveness, because the reader knows the characters so well. In To the Lighthouse, Woolf allows readers to see through the eyes of her characters. The reader of her book develop a greater understanding of how these characters interact because the reader is no longer restricted to what they say, they get to see what each character is thinking about the other characters. The reader is also able to see into the memories and

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