Journal of the Plague Year and First Person Perspective Essay

1503 Words Nov 6th, 2011 7 Pages
Meagan Kirchoff
Dr. McNutt
10/14/11
Patterns of Literature
First Person Perspective in Fiction;
An Analysis of A Journal Of The Plague Year by Daniel Defoe

Characterization and point of view are two very important tools that authors use in writing fiction. They both interoperate with one another to advance the plot and contribute significantly to the meaning. An author’s choice of point of view can reveal the purpose, strategy or intentions that he or she aimed for as well. One such author that wrote his fiction with evident strategy is Daniel Defoe in his work A Journal Of The Plague Year. This story is about a man recording the events and observations of the plague “visitation,” as the narrator calls it, to London during the
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There are times where it is wiser to use third person as well. In the case of Defoe’s character however, the personalization is what makes the story distinctive and discernable from articles, newspapers and textbooks that show the time period and events that took place in the fictional journal. Because we can relate to the narrator, it is easier for us to like the story. This is beneficial to Daniel Defoe because the readers will be drawn in quicker. Also, the first person narration makes the story less of an historical account meant to purely inform the masses, and more of a novel that explores the social dynamics and political framework of a city that was indeed plagued with a deadly infection during the late 17th century. More importantly though, it is due to first person point of view that we are introduced to the central figure of the story, whom without would not make this fictional journal as compelling. First and foremost, as we begin to read the text, given the fact that the story is written in first person point of view, we have to evaluate the reliability of the narrator. While it may be easier to relate to him, that doesn’t necessarily assure that the narrator can be a trusted character. Factors such as biases, judgments, behaviors and personality in general contribute to the likeability and credibility of the protagonist. If the character has a very skewed way of thinking and viewing the world, or is too unstable that
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