In relation to The Story of my Life by Helen Keller, how is the narrator 'I 'in the autobiography different from the narrator 'I 'in a story?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Helen Keller is well-known for her ability to motivate others faced with  adversity. Her name is synonymous with the endless possibilities of life and making the best out of the smallest opportunity.  Helen Keller serves as a reminder that nothing is impossible.  Her achievements would be considered remarkable for anyone, let alone a blind, deaf and dumb person and particularly considering that she was born in the late nineteenth century, for a woman.

An autobiography attempts to track the life of , usually, an individual. It contains many facts about the individual himself or herself from his or her own perspective. In The Story of my Life, Helen tells the story of her life until the age of 22 when the book was written and the "I" gives personal information related to her life and honest accounts of her struggles and achievements.

The narrator in a novel does not always use the first person but when the "I" is used it relates information from the narrator's perspective and the judgements can be very clouded. The first-person narrator  tells the story of other people and events, not necessarily those concerning the narrator him(her)self. and refers to what others did, said or what events took place.  In a novel, there is sometimes more than one narrator and the use of the "I" (or we) is intended to make the story "real" and believable. Some of the information passed on by the first-person narrator may be unreliable as it could be overheard or assumed. In an autobiography, such as The Story of my Life, there is no need to make it real or believable. In fact, Helen's story is almost unbelievable, it is so  unique and inspiring.


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The Story of My Life

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