Literature, Language, and Life

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Interior Monologue (Draft) – Mona Al-Bizri

In Duong Thu Huong’s Paradise of the Blind the reader enters the mind of Hang, the main character, whom we become very close with. Throughout the novel, we share her most intimate of feelings, thoughts, perceptions, and memories. By using interior monologue, Huong tells a realistic story to describe the struggles of the Vietnamese people. By dissecting David Lodge’s literary theory regarding interior monologue and its key features, the reader is able to analyze Hang’s ongoing monologue.

Lodge describes what one might imagine when reading interior monologue, “It’s rather like wearing earphones plugged into someone’s brain, and monitoring an endless tape-recording of the subject’s impressions as they are triggered either by physical sensations or the association of ideas.”  Much of Paradise of the Blind is only known to the reader through Hang’s is eyes, no other character is allowed to truly describe how the feel; Hang dictates how they feel using only her perspective. “I sensed, rising within her, a love repressed…” (pg.86), “Her eyes were like an interrogator’s razor sharp, icy as if flooded with black bile.” (pg.184) “For a moment, her eyes seemed to swirl wildly…” (pg. 189); Hang makes it clear, sometimes using imagery and certain key words, that her experiences are personal.

1 Comment

  1. sameehakhalil says:

    I do agree that interior monologue in the novel involves Hang’s inner feelings, thoughts, memories, etc. and I believe that you did well analyzing Hang’s personal perspectives. However, I simply suggest that you ponder on the reason behind this personal story. What exactly is Hang experiencing when sharing her story? Could it be a journey through her “coming of age” as she finds her reality?

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