The stream of consciousness novel depends on the inner thoughts and emotions of a character. To show the significance of these flux of ideas, and to illuminate the themes and characters different tichniques are used. The technique used exist in the stream of consciousness novel by symbolism. How symbolism is used will be explained by referring to James Joyce novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. .
Motif is a technique which means phrases or words that are repeated. The repitition is used to give a hidden meaning. For example, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the "moocow" is an indirect associattion to the idea of motherhood, the main character's mother, and mother land which is Irland. The figures are juxtapositions and indications to the theme of repressing authority that is symbolized by the figure of mother, father, and priest symbols. The theme introduced by this motif is the repressive nature of his country. .
The main character of James Joyce novel called Stephen. In order to show the main theme, which is Stephen finding his artistic talent and knowing his path in life, Joyce used many symbols that appear to be with no relation to each other but by associating the meaning of each symbol, the whole theme could be seen. The main theme is introduced in the first section of the novel. The first section is like a prologue to introduce the inner conflict that Stephen is not aware of yet. For example, the repitition of "road" at the first page of the novel; it is a symbol to the two roads, which Stephen has to chose from. They are two paths: one of them is religion and the other is art. The novel shows Stephen's conflict in chosing one of the two paths, until he discovers who he really is. He discovers he is an artist. .
Stephen is not aware at first of him self as an artist. It is symbolized in the novel by "his short sightness". He is blind to the truth that he is an artist and is walking in the path of religion thinking this is what he wants.