Talk:First-person narrative

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Someone wrote that Jadakis "Man Plus" is an example of 1st person plural writing. I doubt this. I am going to quote a random fragment below, and if somebody could show me where the "we" is, I would be grateful...

It was a terrible responsibility, we being custodian of mankind's last forlorn hope for freedom and decency. When he woke up it was with that thought in mind; there was a part of Roger Torraway--it showed itself most commonly in dreams--that was about nine years old. It took all the things the President said at face value, although Roger himself, doubling as diplomat and mission .head, world traveler, familiar of a dozen capitals, really did not thInk in his conscious mind that the "Free World" existed.

He dressed, his mind in the familiar occupation of resolving a dichotomy. Let's assume Dash is on the level, and occupying Mars means salvation for humanity, he thought. Can we cut it? He thought of Willy Hartnett--good-looking (or he had been, till the prosthesiologists got at him). Amiable. Good with his hands. But also a little bit of a lightweight, when you came to look at him honestly. Likely to take a drink too many at the club on a Saturday night. Not to be trusted in the kitchen with another man's wife at a party.
He was not a hero, by any measure Roger could find. But who was? He cast his mind down the list of back-ups to the cyborg. Number One, Vic Freibart, currently off on a ceremonial tour with the Vice President and temporarily removed from the order of succession. Number Two, Carl Mazzini, on sick leave while the leg he had broken at Mount Snow healed up. Number Three: Him.
There was no Valley Forge quality in any of them.
He made his breakfast without waking Dorrie, got the car out and left it puffing on its skirts while he picked up the morning paper, threw it into the garage and closed the door. His next-door neighbor, walking toward his car pool, hailed him. "See the news this morning? I see Dash was in town last night. Some high-level conference."
Roger said automatically, "No, I haven't put on the TV this morning." But I did see Dash, he thought, and I could take the wind out of _your_ sails. It annoyed him not to be able to say it. Security was a confounded nuisance. Half of his recent trouble with Dorrie, he was sure, came from the fact that in the neighborhood wives' morning block conference and coffee binge she was allowed to mention her husband only as a formerly active astronaut, now in administrative work. Even his trips abroad had to be played down--"out of town," "business trip," anything but "Well, _my_ husband is meeting with the Chiefs of Staff of the Basutoland Air Force this week." She had resisted. She still resisted, or at least complained to Roger about it often enough. But as far as he knew, she had not broken security. Since at least three of the wives were known to report to the Lab intelligence officer, he undoubtedly would have known.

As Roger got into the car he remembered that he had not kissed Dorrie goodbye.

-Paul- 12:40, 26 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]

2002, 2003[edit]

There's also a short story with a similar device. The entire narration takes place in the amount of time it takes for him to fall after the noose is tied around his neck. You think the rope has broken and that he's escaped, until his neck snaps. That's all I remember about it!  :-( It could have been by Steinbeck or somebody like that. If anyone else remembers, please mention it! -- Marj 21:33 Oct 27, 2002 (UTC)

I have a hunch it's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", Ambrose Bierce.
That's exactly it! -- Marj 06:04 Oct 28, 2002 (UTC)
"One major disadvantage is that since the narrator is telling the story, the narrator must thus live to see the end of the story, unless he or she is a ghost or the like." -- not all stories must feature death! that sentence is a bit strongly worded! -- Tarquin 21:49 Oct 27, 2002 (UTC)
I recall reading a book some years back, set around the time of the Napoleanic Wars if memory serves (so probably not ;-), which was first-person until the final chapter: the narrator died at the end of the penultimate chapter and the end was his friends/family receiving the news of his death.
Are The Number of the Beast and I Will Fear No Evil by Robert A. Heinlein worth mentioning here? The first has multiple first-person narrators; the second is narrated by a man who has had his brain transplanted into the body of his (female) secretary (who is still in there!), which ISTR involves him "dying" twice. Phil 10:54, Dec 22, 2003 (UTC)

moved this to talk: (The film DOA is an interesting case of a first person narrative, as the narrator tells the story of the events that will shortly lead to his death in flashback.)

Only the voice-over portions are first person: most of the film is not. A film in the first person would be from the vantage-point of the protagonist (that is, 'shot' through his eyes) and I don't know of any examples. There may be some, but DOA is not one.

Similarly, the fact that Sunset Boulevard begins with a narration by a corpse doesn't make it first person, though it might have implications for the notion that a narrator has to live to the end of a tale... -- Someone else 21:51 Oct 27, 2002 (UTC)

IN RE films that might be considered to be "first person": There was a major studio movie shot through the eyes of the protagonist: 1947's MGM release "Lady in the Lake," starring Robert Montgomery and based on the Raymond Chandler novel. Apparently it wasn't enough of a success for anyone else to repeat the experiment.Gheelnory (talk) 21:55, 7 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I've not seen it, but I believe the narrator of American Beauty is dead.

NEVER EVER give away a whodunnit without a spoiler warning!!! Shame on you Tarquin...


-- Tarquin 21:59 Oct 27, 2002 (UTC)

Things removed:

and Alice Walker's The Color Purple, this last being in the form of letters.

-- because wouldn't that make it epistolary?

An inclusive label for Point of View[edit]

Since Point of View (POV) can be a complex topic, it deserves a separate heading with subtopics for the major POVs: first person, third person omniscient, and third person limited omniscience (also called "sentient center"). All POVs can be multiple. And Rosellen Brown wrote "What Does the Falcon Owe," a short story without any POV: the reader must connect the various segments of the story and piece together the essence of the story.

Bibliographical References are extensive and mostly in French[edit]

I do not see how the extensive references, most of which do not bear any demonstrated link to the body of the article, are helpful. Also, the broad majority are in French. This is an English entry, so these references will be of limited value.

Entire sections missing?[edit]

It looks like back in August, 2022 someone removed one or two entire sections, leaving only a reference. Maybe for copyright reasons, I’m not sure.

I don’t have time right now to pursue this further, but I feel like a section heading followed only by a reference is not great. I think we should either write new material for those sections, or remove the sections entirely. Elysdir (talk) 14:48, 26 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]