Homodiegetic vs. Heterodiegetic

“In the following I will therefore additionally use the terms suggested by Genette (1980 [1972]) — homodiegetic narrative (= roughly, first-person narrative) and heterodiegetic narrative (= third-person narrative). Diegetic here means ‘pertaining to narrating’; homo means ‘of the same nature’, and hetero means ‘of a different nature’” (Jahn N1.10).

Using an advanced vocabulary is essential in order to match the intellect of the scholars whom apply these terms in their writing. For example, instead of describing a piece of writing as “being narrated through a first person perspective,” I can substitute this elementary description with a far more precocious term: homodiegetic narrative. Not only does it sound more erudite, but it also enhances the legitimacy of the writing by appealing to a more sophisticated audience. An example of a homodiegetic narrative can be seen in Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The story is told through the eyes of the main character, Duke, making it a homodiegetic narrative. A heterodiegetic narrative can be seen in Charles Perrault’s short story “Little Red Riding Hood,” narrated by an omniscient voice that does not take part in the events of the story.

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