First Person - Steve Creasy 12/1/2006 How First Person...

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Steve Creasy 12/1/2006 How First Person Perspective Is Used To Shock the Reader A major distinguishing characteristic of a great work is its ability to evoke emotion in the reader. In her quote, Hermione Lee mentioned the importance of an “audacious imagination” as one of the qualities of a Booker Prize winner. Vernon God Little and The Life of Pi are both narrated from a first person perspective, serving to make events more shocking to fulfill the “audacious imagination” requirement of a Booker Prize winning novel. More precisely, a first person perspective prepares the reader to be surprised by isolating the reader’s imagination, thoughts, and emotions. When the author successfully isolates the reader’s perceptions, events will seem more surprising to the reader, even if an event would not come as such a shock to a person with an outside perspective. One reason that a reader would be more greatly affected by a book written in first person is because a reader gives supreme credibility to the narrator. When a reader has access to the mind of a character in the book, that reader feels that the words in the story are the complete thoughts of that character. The reader also is inclined to believe the character has nothing to hide from the reader because of the intimate thoughts and feelings the character in the story reveals. However, The Life of Pi used that as a tool for deception. Over the course of the entire story, the reader is led to believe that Pi is narrating the story truthfully. However, at the end of the story it is revealed that Pi has been completely fabricating the animal’s existence on the ship
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This essay was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course GHUM 200 taught by Professor Turner during the Winter '07 term at James Madison University.

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First Person - Steve Creasy 12/1/2006 How First Person...

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