Earlier quizzes have touched upon the fact that English is a beautiful language allowing for creativity to flourish. One of the 8 parts of speech is pronouns. Pronouns take the place of nouns and they help in communicating with the utmost economy of words. Linked to pronouns intimately are the terms first person, second person and third person.
First person uses the pronouns I and WE and other pronouns that are related to these. Second person uses the pronouns YOU, YOUR and YOURS. Third person uses the pronouns HE, SHE and IT. These are grammatical requirements. First person assumes importance when you use it to write.
If you have read many detective novels you will have found that the story is told with the detective as the main character who solves the murder. Did you notice that in some novels you are able to empathise more with the detective as the story is told in the first person? When the detective finds an important clue it is as if you yourself have found the clue. Why is this? Let's see...
One of the reasons for this feeling is that throughout the story the word ‘I’ is used and this makes you feel that you are the detective and it is you who is solving the murder. Everything that happens in the story is from your perspective and you almost live the story. Often, you can relate much better because the first person narrative makes you think about reliving your own experiences and your interest in the story is heightened.
First person narrative is popular with both writers and readers. However, first person narrative has its limitations in the sense that only one character’s point of view is highlighted. Can you think of novels that are examples of first person narrative? Take this quiz and see if you'd like to be a first person narrative reader or writer.