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The pros and cons of a first person narrative

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by

Robert Lamb

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of The pros and cons of a first person narrative

The pros and cons of a first person narrative
The first person narrator
"The Outsiders" is a story told by 14 year old Ponyboy Curtis. What are the benefits and pitfalls of having this narrative voice?
Limited perspective
We are only able to see the version of events through Ponyboy's eyes. Although at times we hear other people's perspective - still this is filtered through Ponyboy. The only time we hear another person's thoughts directly is through their direct speech.
Restricted view
Ponyboy is unable to describe situations where he is not present. This means we can only see things first hand when Ponyboy sees it. All other events we must learn about from recounts by other characters.
an intimate experience
The first person narrative allows us to become immersed in the emotions, thoughts and experiences of the character. In this ways the events become much more real to us and we feel we are stepping into the character's shoes.
The writer's voice
Often the first person narrative creates an opportunity for the writer to speak directly to his/her readers through the narrative voice. This narrative style makes it possible for the writer to create a very distinct voice and to strongly emphasise ideas and feelings.
The specifics of Ponyboy as a narrator;
trustworthy
honest
fallible
mature and naive
reflective
looking for meaning
confused at life
angry at unfairness
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