The book "Water is Wide" is told from a first person point of view. The work is autobiographical, and the story is related through the eyes of the author, Pat Conroy, himself. In using the first person, Conroy not only gives a detailed account of events during the period of his life when he was a teacher on the island of Yamacraw in South Carolina in the 1970s, but he also expresses to the reader his feelings and attitudes towards his job and the students and others with whom he was involved. In describing his struggles to overcome racism and bureaucracy to reach the illiterate, impoverished children put in his charge, Conroy, through his first person narrative, creates a chronicle of his own development as well. Raised in an atmosphere of privilege and prejudice, Conroy struggles to overcome misconceptions both within and outside himself, and confronts the difficult question of the balance that must be maintained between realism and idealism.