Reading Consciousness: Analyzing Literature through William James' Stream of Thought Theory
Casto, Andrew Christopher
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Proceeding from the assumption that psychoanalytic theory has yielded insightful literary interpretations, I propose that equally legitimate readings result from analyzing consciousness in literature. William Jamesâ â Stream of Thoughtâ offers a psychological theory of consciousness from which I develop a literary theory that counterbalances the Freudian emphasis on the unconscious. Examining two works by Henry James, I demonstrate how assessing the elements of a characterâ s consciousness leads to conclusions at which other theories do not arrive. This analytical approach leads to not only an alternative critical agenda but also a fuller understanding of the psychological function of the characterâ s and, by extension, the human mind.
- Masters Theses