First person narratives
An author always has a good reason for using the first person. Whether he wishes to share his memories with us, to embody the narration or simply to give more credit to a work of fiction, the ‘I’ always stands as a fascinating object of literary analysis…
The art of self-portraits
- Norman Rockwell
- Mirror Guy
In Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift makes fun of eighteenth century travel books by introducing a fictitious traveler, Gulliver, who tells us about his encounters with strange creatures and countries. Gulliver's first person narrative is introduced by a fake publisher's note which is also written in the first person...
The Great Mouse Plot
In Boy: Tales of Childhood, Roald Dahl tells us about his youth, focusing on some of his most remarkable childhood memories. A lot of irony is introduced by the first person narrator who describes these scenes with the hindsight of age...
Text and key questions
Writing on the self
Critics and academics tend to draw a line between autobiography and fiction. However, it is sometimes difficult to make such a clear distinction between what is made up and what is not. Here are some short texts written by authors who reflect on their use of the first person...
- Use your smartphone to take an elaborate selfie, then explain in what way the photograph reflects your personality.
- Use your school memories to write a short text/tale in the manner of Roald Dahl.
Pour citer cette ressource :
"First person narratives", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), novembre 2014. Consulté le 28/09/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/se-former/les-precis-et-le-workbook/workbook/first-person-narratives-lele/first-person-narratives