Two Men Contemplating The Moon by Caspar David Friedrich makes me think one of them is telling the other a solioquy, or some other old-fashioned narrative device.
Interior Monologue Narrative Technique
- Interior monologue is a stylised way of thinking out loud. (Technically: thinking ‘on the page’.)
- Some people call it ‘internal’ monologue. This is the same thing.
- Unlike stream-of-consciousness, an interior monologue can be integrated into a third-person narrative. The viewpoint character’s thoughts are woven into description, using the author’s own language.
- This is the essential difference between interior monologue and straight narrative:
- Straight Narrative = the narrator talking (You know ‘the narrator’ — that made-up character who sounds like the author — but please don’t mistake authors for narrators – not all authors are crazy axe-wielding, mentally unstable murderers, unlike many of their narrators.)
- Interior Monologue = a character talking/thinking, using words specific to that character, making assumptions, mistaken judgements, conclusions RIGHT FOR THAT CHARACTER.
- If interior monologue is done well, you won’t even notice it’s happening.
Stream of Consciousness Narrative Technique
- Like interior monologue, stream-of-consciousness is another stylised way of thinking out loud.
- It is the 19th and early 20th century version of what has become ‘free indirect style/speech’. (A style of third-person narration which uses some of the characteristics of third-person along with the essence of first-person direct speech.)
- Stream-of-consciousness tends to read more like a pure soliloquy. (A famous soliloquy is Shakespeare’s To be or not to be.)
- There’s a lot of interior monologue in stream-of-consciousness but the difference is, there’s no punctuation to mark it out as such.
- The terms ‘stream-of-consciousness’ and ‘interior monologue’ are used interchangeably by some — but stream-of-consciousness refers more often to a first person narrative which mimics the jumble of thoughts, emotions and memories passing through a character’s mind. (That said, interior monologue is not necessarily written in first person.)
- Stream-of-consciousness tends to be less ordered than interior monologue. That’s because consciousness has no beginning and no end — thoughts flit quite randomly from one thing to another.
- Stream of consciousness is a regular feature of The Psychological Novel.