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Title: Speech and thought in Virginia Woolf’s stream of consciousness technique : a cognitive stylistic analysis through narrative comprehension
Authors: Pace, Sophie
Keywords: Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941 -- Criticism and interpretation
Stream of consciousness fiction, English -- 20th century
Narration (Rhetoric)
Reader-response criticism
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This dissertation seeks to identify the difficulties the reader encounters during the reading process while engaging with a novel written in the stream of consciousness narrative style. Normally, when the stream of consciousness technique is discussed as a style, the focus is on the writer, and what the writer does in order to attempt to capture the characters’ thoughts. It is for this reason that I chose to bring the reader into question, and to analyse the reading process through a cognitive stylistic analysis of two of Virginia Woolf’s novels: Mrs Dalloway (1925) and The Waves (1931). A cognitive stylistic analysis was carried out by means of Catherine Emmott’s framework of narrative comprehension (1999). The framework maps out the reading process that the reader undergoes while navigating a text. This theoretical framework was applied to the two novels; first, from an overall perspective, which was illustrated by means of diagrams (Appendices III and IV) representing the novels’ timelines, and then it was applied to two extracts from each novel. This was done in order to demonstrate how the framework applies to each novel as a whole, and how the reader copes with the demands of the stream of consciousness technique. The in depth analyses of the four extracts then aims to highlight those particular aspects of Emmott’s framework that depict how the reader attempts to piece the novels together. The speech and thought presentation in the two novels was also analysed, as this highlights the ways in which Woolf attempts to capture thought, and also the difficulty placed on the reader. What became evident was that a novel written in this style does pose a challenge to the reader as the text can appear to be rather fragmented, hence making the process of cohesion rather difficult. Despite this, there are elements of the narrative that allow the reader to form a pseudo-checkpoint, in order to retain an element of linearity that aids their understanding of the novel.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2017

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