AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume3, Number3. August 2019                                    Pp. 178-187

A Literary Voyage into the Unconscious: A Philosophical Approach to the Psychological Novel in Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

Abdelhamid Ibn Badis University of Mostaganem


Abstract PDF

The present paper attempts to reawaken the avant-gardism of the literary Stream of Consciousness; a twentieth-century psychological concept that has been accommodated into fictional exertion through the Interior Monologue. The first practitioners of this technique and mode of narrative reportedness are Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, and James Joyce, all of whom are modernist fictional writers who engaged with what previous novelists of the nineteenth century failed to engage with. Woolf observed – in a lecture given to the Cambridge Heretics Society in May 1924 – that: “no generation since the world began has known quite so much about character as our generation”. Woolf’s fiction tends to be psychological, for she experiments with the working of the psyche of her characters and the permanence of the past in the present beyond the reach of realism. Her fiction treats the complex networks of emotions and memories of which the character is the center of the narrative. This paper accordingly, addresses the philosophical background of the Stream of Consciousness and its use within fictional exertion and how the latter is deployed in Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925) to show and uncover the anxieties vis-à-vis her thanatophobia, not only this, but also to express the anxieties of the Great War and the disillusionment towards the modern enterprise.

Cite as:

LARBI, N. (2019). A Literary Voyage into the Unconscious: A Philosophical Approach to the Psychological Novel in Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925). Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies, 3 (3) 178-187.


Dr. Nariman LARBI is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of British Literature: the English Novel
and Literary Movements, at Mostaganem University, Algeria. Graduated in 2008, she was granted
a BA in Australian Studies from University Rennes 2, Brittany – France. She took pregraduate linguistic courses in Cambridge University, England, obtained a Magister Degree
in British Literature from Oran University and a PhD Degree from Tlemcen University,
Algeria. She is fascinated with the Philosophy of Literature and researches on Modern and
Postmodern British and Arabic Fiction. ORCid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0888-2741