Racism: Two Short Stories

909 words 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 two
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How we understand and interpret the character(s) may change- first person is better suited for singular and is less obvious where third person is better for multiple characters and is direct in character development. The way we characters reveal more about themselves differ where in first person it is more implicit, requiring us to analyse how the person speaks against third person where the narrator can just explain how Lorraine “was deeply in love with Mohammed”.

Lastly, the development of sub-plots that help to increase suspense also changes as we use first and third person narratives, the latter being the easier of the two to develop, as we do not need to “hang on” to the main character. This plays a part in the family conflicts in “A sense of shame”, where the protagonist is threatened to be “thrown out”. Whereas, in “Let them call it Jazz” none is available as we are too closely linked with the protagonist, reducing the opportunity to open a new sub plot for the story, commanding the need for a more interesting plot to replace the possible tension lost.

Ultimately, the two stories are able and a suitable choice to be placed against each other to show the differences between first and third person narratives. The contexts whereby they are put to use are suitable and effective to not only give insights into the theme of racism, but are well used to make the stories interesting. Comparing


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