Stream continuity processable nature of a state of mind it offers details of the interior world. We have free associations of ideas, emotions, fantasies, all mingled together in our mind and occurred all together. Characters are portrayed through their thoughts; there is a free flow of ideas, not chronological, but chaotic, incoherent, timeless: odd constructions of sentences, they seem to move from one thing to another, they are not logical, clear.
The stream of consciousness technique is used by Virginia Woolf, respectively in ‘To the lighthouse’. She, influenced by Bergson, believed that we should focus more on the inner world and thoughts. She completely reformed the notion of plot that it became unrecognizable: nothing really happens, only what people think, feel and the emotional states through which they go, things happen inside. Since the plot is gone, the epic vanishes too. The only thing that remains is the lyrical substance of the novel: things happen inside.
What is more, she is influenced by Bergson’s idea of “subjective time” the way your psyche perceives time depends on your subjective state of mind. This appears in ‘to the lighthouse’ as well: a large part of the novel presents only one day, while 10 years take only a few pages. Many things happen in our soul, the world out there inhibits our emotions with its pace and changes.
It may be considered a counter reaction to realism which focuses on the exterior world because it emphasizes on the inner world; subjective perception of time. Woolf criticizes realism as it does not pay any attention to human nature but it places an “enormous stress upon the fabric”. Another type of literature is needed; one that deals with the psyche and it makes visible the impalpable things