Difference Between First Person And Third Person
Writers and authors speak to us through their words. The success of the writing depends on the effectiveness of the narrative style of the author. There are three different ways in which an author can deliver the intended narrative – in the first person, the second person and in the third person.
Who is this person we are talking of?
In grammar, there are eight parts of speech and one of them is the pronoun. A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. Pronouns make the sentences crisper and avoid repetition of nouns. The first, second and third person are narratives using the personal pronouns.
I, Me, Myself
The first person is the narrative where the author uses the spoken voice – he is speaking to the reader. He tells the story from the personal point of view. The story unfolds as is seen through his eyes and so he uses I a lot. The narration is from the point of view of the main character from whose head the author is speaking to the reader. He uses words like I, me, myself, we, us, ours, ourselves. This is not used too frequently in writing as it is very difficult for the author to deliver all the events and happenings from one person’s view point. He can only report through the eyes of the narrator and it becomes very tedious and boring with too much time spent in the narrators mind and not enough in the here and now of the story. Writing in the first person, limits the freedom of the author to explore scenes and situations where the narrator is not physically present. As a result, he has to think up of contrived situations so that the plot moves on.
I’m talking to you
The second person narrative is least used as it is very difficult to keep addressing the reader. It is usually a one on one conversation or a one to many interaction with a single point of discussion. It could be a piece of advice or a talk at the office meeting where the speaker or writer is directly talking to the audience. The most often used word in second person narrative is you.
The larger picture
The third person is by far the most popular form of narrative used by writers as they are not limited to narrating the story through the eyes and mind of a single person. The writer has ease in describing scenes, events and situations in areas where few or no characters are present. He can explore the minds of many or all characters and present a variety of points of view. The writer also can provide information only to the reader and keep it a secret from his characters. Unlike in the first person where the writer is limited by what the main character can see or hear or experience, in the third person narrative, the writer can include what the main character cannot hear or see.
The third person narrative gives a panoramic view of the period in which the story is set and sometimes can cover many generations and centuries too. It is also called the omniscient form of writing.
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