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Is the narrative voice in an autobiography distinct from that of the first person in fiction? Discuss the "voice" of Janet Frame in the text - How far do you consider this to be the authentic person, and how far a fictionalised reconstruction?

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Introduction

Katarina Kollarova Class 12 Literature Essay on Janet Frame - Essay topic one Is the narrative voice in an autobiography distinct from that of the first person in fiction? Discuss the "voice" of Janet Frame in the text. How far do you consider this to be the authentic person, and how far a fictionalised reconstruction? All texts need a narrator. The narrator is the person who tells a story. The narrator can sometimes be referred to as the "author's persona." Fiction is imaginative story writing; it is called "narrative" if it is a story written to be told. The "author's persona" of a fictional narrative develops from the personality and attitude of the storyteller, which is done by the author's choice of words and incidents. First-person point of view in most fictional texts is usually subjective: we learn the narrator's thoughts, feelings, and his reactions to events. In an autobiography, the narrator is looking back on past events that took place during his life. In Janet Frame's autobiography "an angel at my table", the narrator is the author of the text and not a fictional character. ...read more.

Middle

(Pg.213) The narrative voice in an autobiography is distinct from that of the first person in fiction, because the narrator in an autobiography tells us everything only from his own perspective, using words which best describe him and his actions and includes a lot of emotion in his writing. The first person in fiction is usually the main protagonist whose role in the text is to tell the story. In "an angel at my table" Janet Frame uses the word I when telling her story. The whole text was written from her perspective, "I was too fearful; I was alone; I thought." (All pg.150) We never see the story from another person's perspective, because Janet is the only narrator. Although the has only been narrated by Janet, she gives us much detail about the other people that occur in the text, " My knowledge of Aunty Isy and Uncle George was limited. I looked on them as I looked on most relatives..." (Pg.150) all the information she gives us can be and surely is biased, because she never knew what her relatives were really like and her thoughts might not have always been correct. ...read more.

Conclusion

When we read someone's autobiography we believe that the author has himself narrated the book that we are reading about the author of the text. Everyone when asked about their life changes some details to get a more vivid and a exciting picture but this shouldn't be to the extent where incidents or characters are added or made up, because than it shouldn't be recognised as an autobiography any longer. I believe that "an angel at my table" is an autobiography and that Janet Frame is the authentic person and not just a fictionalised reconstruction, because she goes into so much valuable detail about herself and the other people she's encountered and her surroundings that it is unlikely to be fiction. Janet includes many dialogues in the text, which may not have been exactly the same in real life as they are in the book, since she may have forgotten them but they all seemed to be genuine. Janet is a well- known writer and all the information about her can be acquired from the different sources if proof was needed. Janet Frame even included photos of herself and her family as well as including her poems and actual addresses where she lived, all things, which are very intimate. ...read more.

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