Interior Monologue: Paradise of the Blind
What is Interior Monologue? Essentially, Interior Monologue is a form of first person narration which focuses on a character’s thoughts to create a connection between the reader and the character of the book. To better the text, interior monologue can be used alongside many styles of writing and devices to enhance the readers experience.
In Duong Thu Huong’s “Paradise of the Blind,” we, as readers enter the mind of the main character, Hang, and share her thoughts and feelings. Huong uses interior monologue to express her story and give the reader an inside look on Vietnamese people’s struggles and hardship. After analyzing Lodge’s ideas on interior monologue, we can take a deeper look at the interior monologue Hang has in the book.
Paradise of the Blind’s character Hang becomes closer to us and most of the book we see through her eyes. We now hear what she hears, see what she sees, feel what she feels, which brings us closer to the character. It’s kind of how Lodge described it, “It’s rather like wearing earphones plugged into someone’s brain, and monitoring an endless tape-recording of the subject’s impressions, reflections, questions, memories and fantasies, as they are triggered either by physical sensations or the association of ideas.” (Lodge, pg. 47)
Interior monologue in the book occurred when Hang was describing her impression of the environment she was going to, from that the reader understands that Hang is describing it from her own perspective. This is an interior monologue because it gives evidence as to how the house haunting her was a feeling that triggered her memory from the past, which is “linked, inextricably, by the ties of blood and race.” Huong used the old house to trigger a specific memory for Hang to end the interior monologue.
Interior monologue is used effectively when referring to the past like when Hang thinks of old memories and how they made her feel. At the end of the book Hang reflects, “I sat down, cupping my chin in my hands, and dreamed different worlds, of the cool shade of a university auditorium, of a distant port where a plane could land and take of…” (Huong pg. 258); here we share some of Hang’s most intimate of feelings through interior monologue.