Steven Callahan Writing Styles in Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea

Steven Callahan
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Perspective

Adrift is written in a first person, present tense perspective. This imbues the narrative with a sense of both intimacy and immediacy, as events seem to unfold experientially through the eyes of the protagonist. This device serves to distance the reader from Callahan-as-author even as it encourages sympathy for Callahan-as-castaway. The first person present tense keeps the story focused on the desperate "now," casting the future as perilously uncertain.

Devices aside, the reader knows that Callahan survives; there would be no story otherwise. The author's perspective is therefore one of memory rather than immediacy. The author does not starve or thirst. The author does not live in a world of threat and uncertainty. The protagonist's survival is certain, even when it does not seem so. This suggests that the author's perspective is very different from the former self of which he writes. The author knows how the story...

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This section contains 731 words
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Buy the Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea Study Guide
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