How Stream of Consciousness is Used in Literature

This characteristic is a Formal Stylistic characteristic typical for Modernity and Modernism and it can be found in Virginia Woolf’s story “The Mark on the Wall”. In this story the stream of consciousness starts as the writer sees the mark on the wall and then the thoughts flow. From one thought the writer connects to another one, which somehow reveals writers consciousness as the thoughts stream with different views and different ideas. An example for that is “How readily our thoughts swarm upon a new object, lifting it a little way, as ants carry a blade of straw so feverishly, and then leave it… If that mark was made by a nail, it can’t have been for a picture, it must have been for a miniature- the miniature of a lady with white powdered curls, powdered-dusted cheeks, and lips like red carnations. A fraud of course, for the people who had this house before us would have chosen pictures in that way- an old picture for an old room” (page 1).

It is obvious that from what can have made that mark on the wall it ends up with a statement that old picture would have been chosen for the old house. As is pointed out thought carries a thought and leaves it. After this part then the story continues with the description of the people who owned the house.

Another example is on the fifth page of the story where the writer starts “No, no nothing is proved, nothing is known”, and then continues writing about knowledge and what it is. One more example is on the third page where the writer starts with “And yet the mark is not a hole at all”, and continues with a comparison to Troy and then continues again with the first thought that comes to her mind. This characteristic is used in a way that we as readers, we can read everything that goes in the writer’s mind. This is so much like writing everything that comes to our mind when we try to focus or think on something, like in this case the mark on the wall. This is something like day dreaming.

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