Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Community in First Person Narratives
The prevalent use of first-person narration in young adult literature can help create a connection between the narrator and the reader. However, the discourses surrounding adult writers of YA literature draws attention to a failure in the authenticity of these connections. Gail Gauthier’s “Whose Community? Where is the ‘YA’ in YA Literature?” ponders the nature of adolescents’ interaction with YA literature written by adults. Amanda Haertling Thein and Mark A. Sulzer, on the other hand, examine how first-person narratives function in “Illuminating Discourses of Youth through the Study of First Person Narration in Young Adult Literature.” The ideas in these two articles can be synthesized to examine instead how first-person narrative can foster a sense of community when adults write YA literature. I believe that Gauthier’s examination of communitas and Thein and Sulzer’s theory on first-person narrative can illuminate how Will Grayson, Will Grayson’s narrators interact in conversation with each other and the reader in its attempt to create community.
Gail Gauthier focuses on notions of community between the adolescent reader and protagonist, facilitated by the adult writer, and how this affects why and how adolescents are reading. Gauthier uses Robert Daly’s theory of communitas as this basis to describe the connection between adolescents – this is “a sense of comradeship among equals to which liminality