The Difference between First Person Narrative and Third Person Narrative
The first or third person narrative denotes from whose view or perspective the writing is being told. When you write in the first person, you use personal pronouns such as we, I, me, and us, as well as the possessive pronouns mine, my, our, and ours. On the other hand, if the story is narrated using the third person format, the pronouns used are she, he, it, they, and them, together with the possessive pronouns hers, his, its, their, and theirs. Using the third person will impact the verbs used. That is the reason why you should choose the appropriate perspective for different types of writing genres.
There are some who unconsciously use the “I” form when telling stories. For them, this format is easier. However, there are those who feel more comfortable with the he-she format. They feel that they can provide more insight with their stories if they use the third person scheme.
The First Person Perspective
When you relate a story in the first person, it means you are talking about yourself. The sentence, “I saw her going to the police station” is a fine example of this form of narrative. It denotes a thing or an event expressed from his point of view. If the speaker is part of a group, then the sentence would be transformed to, “We saw her going to the police station”.
The Third Person Perspective
When you opt for a third person narrative, the pronouns he, she, and it are used together with the gender-specific objective pronouns him and her. There are two main types of third person writing: omniscient and limited. In omniscient writing, the writer can jump from one character to another and disclose more information, giving the reader more data that is beyond the coverage of the protagonist’s actions. In limited writing, the writer offers only what the protagonist is aware of.
In most schools, instructors usually promote the use of the third person format instead of the first person perspective. The first person perspective is deemed as informal and unsuitable for academic audiences. It can only be considered acceptable in academic writing if the teacher requires a personal informal approach on a specific article.
In fact, even though the first person perspective in writing is common when writing a person’s autobiography, some works use this perspective when telling a story using the point of view of a character that is part of the story.