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Truth Non Fiction Narratives Essay

993 words - 4 pages

" Because of a ritual of ignorance, most of the women on the continent of Africa live their lives in pain." (pg 349) Non fiction narratives are true stories that aim to pass on information, rather than entertain, although they may blend both ingredients successfully. The very definition of non fiction "literary work other than fiction" indicates that the narratives are true in factualism. However, some genres of non-fiction, particularly autobiographies, are one person's recollection and memories and present a ones-sided view. Whereas certain facts are presented much of the way the story is written can convince the reader that everything is true, when it may not be. For example, the autobiography, Desert Flower, written by Waris Dirie, entertains the reader but also sees to inform the reader about a controversial subject. An author can manipulate the truth, by using selection of detail, narratorial stance, language, creative licence and structure of the content. Non fiction narratives are true stories but the author positions us to respond in a desired way. In some cases, though, such as non-fiction reference books, more factual information is provided and less elaboration given, making the narrative more "˜true'.The subject matter that Waris highlights in her life story is very emotional and can be quite disturbing in places. Waris tells her story in chronological order, from when she ran away from her nomad family in Africa to finding her way to London where she is discovered by a fashion photographer. For most of the book, she bears the recollection and agony of an ancient tradition, female circumcision, performed on her at the mere age of 5. She cannot accept what her family has done to her, so consequently does not forgive them and has no regrets or second thoughts about running away."All my life I've tried to think of a reason for my circumcision. Maybe if I could have thought of a good reason, I could accept what they've done to me"¦I needed to talk about my secret, because I had it bottled up inside me all my life" (pg 352) Waris also talks a lot about her modelling career and how it has affected her as a person. She had many cultural and health troubles when she first started, but overcame these and consequently became a successful model. She is very grateful that she moved to New York, to escape the poverty and war in Somalia, but she believes she has become a better person because of her childhood experiences." Today, I cherish the value of simple things"¦the most valuable asset in life "" other than life itself, is health." Her life story, being told from her viewpoint and relying on her own memory to tell it, suggests that it is accurate and genuine, but the reader can't genuinely believe this because she may have manipulated the truth due to loss of memory.Waris Dirie uses selection on detail to show the readers...

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