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Why do authors choose to use a first person narrator in writing humorous stories?what...

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janna1990 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 29, 2008 at 10:42 PM via web

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Why do authors choose to use a first person narrator in writing humorous stories?

what do you think?

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cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted September 30, 2008 at 9:35 AM (Answer #2)

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It is much easier to convey the humor of a situation if it happened to you.  Using first person narration allows the writer to make the story very personal, which adds to its humorous element.  When third person narration is used, the writer can only speculate as to what the person being written about felt/saw/etc.  Personal feelings and thoughts are important elements to any story, especially one that is humorous (humor can be difficult to express).

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 30, 2008 at 10:05 AM (Answer #3)

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An interesting question. First of all, let's be clear: not all writers or speakers do use first person narratives. Many use third person, or even a direct second person address. (As in, "Did you ever notice how…?" That's second person.) As far as why one might want to use first person, it allows for self-deprecating humor. I can make fun of myself. I can share stupid things I've done without scoring points on other people. Second and third person narratives both incorporate at least some degree of cruelty. If I use them, I'm making fun of someone else. If I use first person, I can be the only fool in the room.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted September 30, 2008 at 6:37 PM (Answer #4)

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First-person is personal and therefore can be easier for readers to relate to.  Because it is personal and the narrator can be involved in the story, the reader can be more easily drawn into the story. 

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isabellajone | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted October 1, 2008 at 1:55 AM (Answer #5)

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The concentration of reader can be easily attracted deep into the story..thtz the reason..

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted October 8, 2008 at 7:12 AM (Answer #6)

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Which would you find more interesting if you were holding a simple, interpersonal conversation:

"Joe went to the store and bought some bread the other day."

"I went to the store yesterday, and paid a dollar for a loaf of bread."

The second statement makes the conversation more directly involving, and therefore, it tends to get more attention. Plus, it has a tiny bit more detail, mostly because it happened to the speaker himself. The idea that first person is more conversational, and perhaps even more human, is the main reason why authors like Mark Twain use it when writing humor.

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kojo21 | Student , Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 2, 2010 at 9:37 AM (Answer #7)

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It is always funny to know the main characters opinions and thoughts

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megan-bright | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted July 17, 2011 at 1:11 AM (Answer #8)

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As already stated above, the use of a first person narrative in comedies work because the main character is used as a vessel for the reader.  My husband does a lot of reading, and he doesn't like first person narratives in certain genres, but he does like first person narratives in comedies because it gives him the feeling of actually being there.

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 18, 2012 at 5:09 AM (Answer #9)

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First person narrative controls the perspective enough to allow for surprises and irony moreso than third person narration. I think this may be the reason since so much of humor and comedy comes from the unexpected, the surprising, and from irony.

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