9

It is very strange to read the narrative from second person, but there are examples! Maybe there are a number of situations which are good for using second-person view?

6

"You're reading the advertisement: an offer like this isn't made every day. You read and reread it. It seems to be addressed to you and nobody else..."

These are the opening words of Carlos Fuentes' Aura, the only example of second person narration I've read.

In Fuentes' case, I think the second person narration contributes to an impression that the protagonist's actions (your actions) are happening in the context of a hypnotic or dream-like state. In Fuentes' story, the technique is effective and compelling.

  • Yeah, I really feel like visioning a mirage while reading your quotation. Good point. – Daniel Ganiev Nov 20 '10 at 16:29
  • 1
    Another example I've read myself is Complicity by Iain Banks. Quite unnerving, since you read of the actions of a serial killer from in the second person... so, you are killing these people. :-P – Jürgen A. Erhard Dec 10 '10 at 17:44
5

Text Adventure games use a second-person narrative, as do many games that have been inspired by them, including some first person shooters.

You are in a dark room. You might be eaten by a grue.

3

Choose your own adventure books often use the second person.

0

Self-help books come to mind.

And thanks to random internet people, we have a list of notable second person narratives

0

Junot Diaz's "The Cheater's Guide to Love" is a nice short-story and a brilliant contemporary example of the second person's use in fiction. Second-person is obviously not implicating the reader herself—it's always clearly about the protagonist—the PoV just serves to further, maybe more intimately, familiarize the reader with the protagonist. Bring her even closer into the protagonist's mind, thoughts, feelings. If mishandled it can be awkward and an instant turn-off, but it has its unique benefits.

Good luck!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.