The next morning, when the alarm went off, he wanted to keep his eyes closed and keep on with the dream he was having. Something about a farmhouse. And there was a waterfall in there, too. Someone, he didn't know who, was walking along the road carrying something. Maybe it was a picnic hamper. He was not made uneasy by the dream. In the dream, there seemed to exist a sense of well-being. Finally, he rolled over and pushed something to stop the buzzing. ("Fever" by Raymond Carver)

I'm studying forms of speech representation in literature (indirect speech, direct speech, free indirect speech). The Italicized seems closest to direct speech without quotation marks (which is common in fiction), the problem is that it's in the third person not the first person. People who studied narratology, specifically, "discourse representation" would be able to identify this. I'm new to stack exchange and I don't know where to find them.

  • 1
    Please edit your question to add the source of the quote the best way is to link to the site but if you can't then tell the name of the story and the author.
    – James K
    Feb 27 at 22:01
  • We could interpret the section in italics as his retelling of the dream, therefore a quote of his description. Direct speech? Hard to say. Feb 27 at 22:50
  • Why do you think there's any speech here at all? Also, please edit your question to tell us what research you've done to answer the question yourself, what you already know about identifying various kinds of speech, and what specifically you're unsure about. Otherwise, this question will likely be closed.
    – gotube
    Feb 28 at 9:13
  • "free indirect speech"?? You might want to go to the Literature site for this. Also research your terms. There is no spoken English (direct speech) in your text at all.
    – Lambie
    Feb 28 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


There is no speech here, neither a direct quote, which you can normally recognise by the quotation marks. Nor is there a report of speech. There is a description of a dream.

The dream is described in a fragmented manner using a mixture of incomplete sentences, short sentences, and sentences with parenthetical phrases - this seems to be a stylistic choice to match the fragmented language with the fragmented memory of a dream.

However there is no speech mentioned at all, neither real, nor in the dream.

I suppose you could interpret this as being a representation of a person's internal monologue... but that's not explicit, and that isn't reported or direct speech.

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