A Psychological Novel

Table of Content

“ A psychological novel, besides called psychological pragmatism, is a work of prose fiction which places more than the usual sum of accent on interior word picture, and on the motivations, fortunes, and internal action which springs from, and develops, external action. The psychological novel is non content to province what happens but goes on to explicate the motive of this action. In this type of composing character and word picture are more than normally of import, and they frequently delve deeper into the head of a character than novels of other genres. The psychological novel can be called a novel of the “ interior adult male ” , so to state. In some instances, the watercourse of consciousness technique, every bit good as interior soliloquies, may be employed to better exemplify the interior workings of the human head at work. Flashbacks may besides be featured. ” ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_novel )

The period ( 1900-1950 ) witnessed a great alteration in the novel and a assortment of many and different sorts of novels emerged within this period. Before the rise of the psychological novel, there used to be the traditional novel in which the author “ told his narratives for their ain interest, maintaining himself and his thoughts out of them, and pulling his characters chiefly from the exterior, clearly seen figures in a clearly ascertained universe. ” ( 133 ) However, authors like Richardson and Fielding involved their ain doctrine of life to their novels. Dickens started utilizing the novel as a tool for the reform of “ societal immoralities ” in his society.

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Psychoanalysis began to look with the late Victorian authors. With the late Victorian period, “ psychological analysis ” began to look in novels like that of Henry James. James focused on the motivations and psychological science of his characters instead than their actions. This depended on the reader ‘s portion in the novel ; the reader non reads the novel, but besides analyses the characters. ( 132, 133 )

Both the Gallic and Russian Novels influenced the English novel to a great extent. There was and an onslaught on the traditional English novel. By the 1890ss, George Moore and Someres Maugham were greatly influenced by the Gallic novel. As Collins puts it, “ Gallic influence meant in portion an sharply blunt pragmatism… but more significantly it meant greater attending to construction and look. ” ( 137 )

The Russian novel, nevertheless, had a much more and deeper impact on the traditional English novel after the publication of the interlingual renditions of great authors such Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

The Russian novel stressed the importance of the interior ego and the subconscious. As Collins references in his book,By the work of the Russian Masterss it was possible to recognizeHow much more deeply one could perforate into the human psychethan English novelists had so far attempted. Many felt that incomparing with such work the English novel appearedprovincial and soulless, half-blinded to the psychologicaladmirations of human personality. The influence of the Russiannovel came to a caput in clip to fall in the forces with thepsychological science of the subconscious head… The clip was ripe for aneffort to revolutionize the English novel. ( 137 )

The watercourse of consciousness is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a Psychological Novel. It is an of import facet of a Psychological Novel. The term “ watercourse of consciousness ” was coined by the American philosopher and psychologist, William James. It was used for the first clip in the reappraisal that the novelist/philosopher, May Sinclair, in 1915, about the first volume of Samuel Richardson ‘s Pilgrimage. The watercourse of consciousnessrefer [ s ] to a method of showing, as if straight and withoutspeculation, the flowing or jaggy sequence of ideas,perceptual experiences, preconscious associations, memories, half-realized feelings, and so on, of one or more characters-theeffort, in fiction, to copy the complete mental life as itmanifests itself in the on-going nowadays. ( 233 )

The watercourse of consciousness technique has been widely used by many celebrated twentieth century English and American novelists. It is used by James Joyce in his novel Ulysses. It is employed in about all of Virginia Woolf ‘s novels, viz. ; To the beacon, Mrs. Dalloway, The Waves, Jacob ‘s Room and Between the Acts. It is besides used in William Faulkner ‘s The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying and Absalom! Absalom! . Furthermore, Samuel Beckett ‘s trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable every bit good as D.H. Lawrence ‘s Sons and Lovers and Women in Love are good illustrations of such a technique. However, the beginning of the watercourse of consciousness technique is believed to travel back to the eighteenth-century fiction.

William Faulkner ‘s The Sound and the Fury ( 1929 ) , which is the chief topic of this paper, is rich in the watercourse of consciousness technique, peculiarly the first three subdivisions. In the first subdivision, Benjy ‘s subdivision, Faulkner uses the watercourse of consciousness to reflect the flow of ideas inside Benjy ‘s head. There is no chronological order in anything Benjy references. Rather, there are rapid clip displacements for he relates a certain event and so goes on to talk about an wholly different event. Then he moves back to finish the first event or he might non. ( revise the novel and supply illustration utilizing citation ) .

Another facet that is related to the watercourse of consciousness technique and is obvious in this subdivision is the association of images or the “ preconscious associations ” as Kawin so describes it. For illustration, the sound of the word “ caddie ” reminds Benjy of his sister Caddy. This shows that the reader is non merely reading the novel and following its events, but the reader is besides doing tax write-offs. Benjy is non stating that “ caddie ” reminds him of his sister Caddy, but it is the reader who deduces this thought. This is the function of the reader and this is what makes a psychological novel unique and different ; the reader has a function in the novel. The characters do non state that they are utilizing the watercourse of consciousness technique, but it is the reader who finds out this. In this regard, Kawin points out thatBenjy is non cognizant that X reminds him of Y and that he hasan attitude toward the difference between X and Y ( he does nonstate to himself that he misses Caddy, for case ) . But the readerdeduces the significance of the apposition of X and Y, which ishis ‘thought, ‘ and his occasional holla can be taken asfarther grounds ( that he misses the Caddy he “ idea of ” whenhe heard ‘caddie, ‘ though he can non state this ) . ( 253 )

Although the manner of Benjy ‘s subdivision is really simple and so is the vocabulary, this subdivision is considered the most hard in the whole novel. This is due to the fact that Benjy is an imbecile with the head of an baby. In add-on, the present and the yesteryear are one thing for Benjy ; he has no sense of clip.

Faulkner once more employs the watercourse of consciousness technique in the 2nd subdivision of this novel, which is Quentin ‘s subdivision. Quentin ‘s subdivision is easier to read than Benjy ‘s. One can follow with what he is stating whether italics are used or non to bespeak his traveling to associate a memory from the yesteryear. Unlike Benjy, Quentin completes every event that he relates to the really terminal. However, and like Benjy ‘s subdivision, Quentin ‘s subdivision is characterized by an utmost flow of ideas when retrieving certain memories during his last twenty-four hours before perpetrating self-destruction.

Quentin, for illustration, describes his confrontation with Herbert, Caddy ‘s suer, stating him to go forth town and ne’er seek to see Caddy once more:I came to state you to go forth townhe broke a piece of bark intentionally dropped it carefullyinto the H2O watched it float offI said you must go forth townhe looked at medid she direct you to meI say you must travel non my male parent non anybody I say itlisten save this for a piece I want to cognize if shes all righthave they been trouble oneselfing her up therethats something you dont necessitate to problem yourself aboutso I heard myself stating Ill give you until sundown togo forth town ( 159 )

This is a typical illustration of the watercourse of consciousness technique, where there is no punctuation, no capitalisation, and no full Michigan. This helps Quentin to reflect his ideas without any sort of break. In add-on, Quentin uses a past watercourse of consciousness in associating certain episodes in his life. This is due to the fact that the twenty-four hours in which he is talking is the last twenty-four hours before his decease. Quentin will perpetrate suicide shortly after the last page of this subdivision. This twenty-four hours is the lone nowadays for Quentin ; everything else is past for him.

Quentin ‘s subdivision is clearly different from Benjy ‘s and in explicating this difference, Chase claims in The American Novel and its Tradition:In the Quentin subdivision of The Sound and the Fury [ the reader ]happen [ s ] some of the same evocativeness of the Benjy subdivision.Events… assume new dimensions, because now they are calledForth in a reasonably complicated and sophisticated head. Quentin ‘shead like Benjy ‘s, in this regard, is obsessional and returns once moreand once more to a few images and thoughts ; and this gives a necessaryconsistence to what might otherwise be an incipient flow ofreminiscence and perceptual experience. ( 228 )

The watercourse of consciousness technique is non used in the 3rd subdivision, Jason ‘s subdivision, every bit much as it is used in Benjy ‘s and Quentin ‘s. Jason is non truly obsessed with the past as Benjy and Quentin are. He is instead obsessed with his present fiscal state of affairs ; he merely thinks of money and how to derive larger sums of money. He is even ready to steal others if this is the lone manner for him and this is what he does with his niece, Quentin. He takes most of the money sent by her female parent, Caddy, and leaves her really few pennies. Dilsey better describes Jason when she tells him, “ You ‘s a cold adult male, Jason, if adult male you is ” ( 207 ) .

An illustration of the watercourse of consciousness technique in this subdivision is when Jason remembers a series of past events such as holding an imbecile brother and a 2nd brother who is a Harvard pupil who committed self-destruction. He besides remembers his sister who committed promiscuousness and since so it was ordered that her name should non be mentioned any longer in the house:Like a adult male would of course believe, one of them is brainsickAnd another one drowned himself and the other one wasturned out into the street by her hubby, what ‘s the rea-boy the remainder of them are non brainsick excessively. All the clip I couldsee them watching me like a hawk, waiting for a opportunity tosay Well I ‘m non surprised I expected it all the clip thewhole household ‘s brainsick. Selling land to direct him to Harvard…( 233 )

As for the 4th and last subdivision, Dilsey ‘s subdivision, it focuses on Dilsey, the Black retainer in the Compson house and adverting any losing inside informations in the old three subdivisions. Although this subdivision is devoted to Dilsey, after whom this subdivision is named, it is narrated in the 3rd individual point of position unlike the other three subdivisions of the three brothers. The watercourse of consciousness technique is non employed in this subdivision. On the other manus,[ T ] he concluding subdivision offers us the first straightforward narration.Here Faulkner adjusts his manner to suit the character of Dilsey. Wehold a quiet, dignified manner ; the reader is presented the events ofthe 4th subdivision without any remark or without anycomplicated sentence construction. And in the visible radiation of the otherthree subdivisions narrated by a Compson, this concluding subdivision hasa strong sense of control and order.

Faulkner uses the watercourse of consciousness technique in the first three subdivisions and this narrative technique so distinguishes these subdivisions. However, when Faulkner dispenses with it in the last subdivision, he is still able to give Dilsey ‘s subdivision an air of uniqueness. Of all the characters in The Sound and the Fury, Dilsey ‘appeals ‘ much to the readers. This is something intended by Faulkner in his novel. Dilsey accepts things as they truly are ; she lives in the existent universe. As a consequence, when all the other characters are at loss, Dilsey is “ morally active ” .

Another of import characteristic of a Psychological Novel that is employed by William Faulkner in The Sound and the Fury, peculiarly the first three subdivisions is the interior soliloquy. The interior soliloquy is “ [ a ] technique of entering the continuum of feelings, ideas and urges either prompted by witting experience or originating from the well of the subconscious. ” The interior soliloquy is the interior voice of the character. It does non merely uncover the psychological science of each character, but besides how each character differs in their reaction toward certain people or events. The interior soliloquy shows that non all the characters think the same manner.

William Faulkner has used the interior soliloquy narrative technique with Benjy, Quentin and Jason to bring out the attitude and feelings of each towards their sister, Caddy. In the first subdivision, Caddy is portrayed as the lovingness and loving sister. She is a beginning of joy and comfort for Benjy. She is ever looking after him and that is why he loves her more than any of his two brothers. When reading the first subdivision, one can recognize that about all of Benjy ‘s memories are associated with Caddy. She is the 1 whose image is still present intensively in his head because she has played the greater function in his life.

In the 2nd subdivision, Quentin ‘s interior voice makes the reader happen out that he truly loves his sister, Caddy. Even when he knows about her promiscuousness, he tries to assist her and base by her side instead than present troubles upon her ; he confesses to his male parent that he has committed incest with his sister in order to do it look that it is his ain mistake.

In the 3rd subdivision, the interior soliloquy reveals how much Jason hates his sister, Caddy. He greatly supports the thought that her name should non be mentioned any longer in the house in order to bury the shame she has brought the household. However, he takes from the money she sends her girl and he leaves his niece really few sums of what her female parent sends her.

Therefore the sound and the rage is a good illustration of a psychological novel in representing through the watercourse of consciousness technique.

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A Psychological Novel. (2016, Dec 07). Retrieved from


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