Racism: Two Short Stories

880 Words Mar 8th, 2011 4 Pages
Individual Oral Presentation Essay (IOP)

Comparing First and Third Person Narratives: Racism

Note: This essay intends to explain the differences in first and third person narratives, highlighting examples within the two stories “Let them call it Jazz” and “A sense of shame”, both of which deal with racism and its subcultures in a first and third person perspective, respectively. The arguments presented are limited to that of first and third person perspectives only.

The differences between first and third person perspectives are detrimental when making the decision on which to use when writing. They are almost exactly polar opposites of each other, ones advantage being the others disadvantage and vice versa. In the aspect of the
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The course a story takes is influenced by everything the narrator experiences. However, this also limits us to a viewpoint of the narrator and the narrator only. In the third person narrative, though it lacks the “fun” aspect, it makes up with the fact that it can expose multiple ways of interpreting a situation. In this case, it is able to show detailed insights to the narrator’s idea of racism.

Then, we consider the aspect of posing an argument. As in any arguments, a premise is significantly weakened when factors are affected by personal opinions, judgments and experiences. When using the first person narrative, the fact that its structure relies on the use of words relating to ones self, an argument can be significantly weakened. In this case, since it is the protagonist expressing her own ideas/ rebelling against racism, her stand is significantly weakened. Comparatively, in “A sense of Shame”, the idea of multiple people taking a stand does help to bring about a much more stronger idea of “social norm” and “making a stand”. However, when used correctly, the first person
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