The Challenge of Free Indirect Speech in Mrs. Dalloway Essay

The Challenge of Free Indirect Speech in Mrs. Dalloway Essay

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Mrs. Dalloway’s Free Indirect Discourse
Modernist writers emergence in the twentieth century brought many changes to literature. They rejected the Romantic focus on nature and being and instead were inspired by the impersonal and capitalistic feelings brought on from machinery and World War I. Soldiers who were sent to war saw death and pain in completely new ways. These experiences, which only worsened with World War II in the 1940s, prevented many soldiers from mentally coming home. Enlisted writers and those back home who saw the shell-shock effects of war used that horror within their writing. Modern writers also experimented with subject matter, form, and style. They did away with character summaries, used moment time instead of linear plots, developed stream of consciousness, and rejected single authoritative narrator. These deliberate changes produced a type of literature that was vastly different than anything before it. There were many prominent writers during the modernist period and they each developed their own style. One writer who was at the forefront of modernism was Virginia Woolf. She was an English writer who played a significant role in the London writing society. Woolf experimented with the modernist techniques but one that she was most known for was the use of free indirect discourse. This new type of narration added a deeper level to the story and injected the character’s thoughts in a direct way. Woolf’s story Mrs. Dalloway was well known for this. Free indirect discourse was used throughout Mrs. Dalloway and gave the story many advantages over standard direct and indirect discourse.
Free indirect discourse is a combination between direct and indirect discourse. Modernist writers developed this form of...


... middle of paper ...


...isie Johnson positively felt she must cry Oh! (For that young man on the seat had given her quite a turn. Something was up, she knew.) Horror! horror!” (Woolf 2351). Since free indirect discourse is the exact


Works Cited
Faini, Paola. “The Challenge of Free Indirect Speech in Mrs. Dalloway.” Translating Virginia Woolf. Ed. Oriana Palusci. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2012. 39-47.
Gingerich, Jon. “The Benefits of Free Indirect Discourse.” Lit Reactor. LitReactor, LLC, 23 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 April 2014.
Thacker, Andrew. "Traffic, Gender, Modernism." Sociological Review 54.(2006): 175-189. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
Woolf, Virginia. “Mrs. Dalloway.” The Longman Anthology of British Literature. Ed. David Damrosch and Kevin J. H. Dettmar. Boston: Longman, 2010. 2338-2437. Print.

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