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Is this a mistake?

Hamilton, Essential Literary Terms (112-149) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"Probably the most influential practitioner of stream of consciousness is James Joyce, who used it extensively in his innovative novel Ulysses (1922)."

This example of Ulysses is put under the third-person category, but it seems like it should be considered first-person. It seems like the main character, Leopold Bloom, is narrating the story himself, using the pronouns "I" and "we." I know this is stream of consciousness, but does being stream of consciousness automatically put you under the third-person limited category? I know in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Joyce uses "he" to refer to the main character so it makes sense to put that novel under the third-person category. Hamilton says that stream of consciousness is "an extreme form of the third-person limited point of view," but I don't understand why it sometimes can't be considered first-person.

Comments (2)

Leopold Bloom is one of two protagonists... the Stephen Daedalus chapters are told from a third-person perspective, if I recall correctly. Certainly there is such a thing as first-person stream of consciousness; but I think Foster was just pointing out that third-person is possible, too. (I don't have my Foster book with me, so you might want to check that.)


I had about the same question. I can't seem to quite grasp the difference between a first person and a third person stream of consciousness (doesn't seem to be much of one, does there?) either, so if you figure it out, please drop a hint to me. As I said in my blog, it would be really nice if we had some more examples, or the answers to the exercises, so we could see the difference for ourselves.

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