Position As A Writer By John Edgar Wideman

Decent Essays

Position As a Writer
John Edgar Wideman begins his piece, Our Time, with a description of the world he grew up in. He takes the reader through the story of his brother, Robby, using a variety of voices and points of view. In this narration of his brother’s life he brings to light his own dilemma with writing the piece. He uses a variety of voices and points of view to demonstrate the different perspectives of Robby 's story. To contest the ethical dilemma of telling someone else’s story without exploiting it, Wideman addresses the issue head on. By reading Our Time, a writer could learn much from Wideman, and adopt a number of his methods for different writing styles.
One of Wideman’s main writing methods is his use of multiple voices and points of view. This becomes apparent even in the first page of the text. Wideman introduces his essay with a letter. It is not addressed to anyone, neither is it signed, but, it is written as if every character in his story was speaking. The tone is his own, the subject is his brother, Robby, and parts of the letter reveal advise from Garth and his mother. This presentation of a multi-narrative style is present throughout the essay. It gives the reader a sense of authenticity that cannot be achieved through third person narration because it places the audience in the mindset of the person speaking. By switching points of view, Wideman is providing the reader with multiple perceptions of a scenario, giving a different lens of analysis

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