Analyzing Birbiglia’s “DU-why?!” from This American Life

Analyzing Birbiglia’s “DU-why?!” from This American Life


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Speakers and writers must offer the “who, what, where, when, and why” in a personal narrative to help the audience follow and understand their story. These five W’s provide readers with the necessary context. Does Birbiglia offer this context to help an audience follow his story? If so, then indicate below the specifics for each W.

















Most autobiographical narratives are written in chronological order. That is, the events are told in the order in which they happen. Does Birbiglia tell the events of an experience in the order in which they happen? (First, second, third, and so on) Or does he tell the events out of order?








Who is the audience for this particular story? To consider the idea of audience carefully, you should ask yourself: Who would Birbiglia want to know this story?











Beyond trying to express himself to others through this narrative, what is the purpose of Birbiglia’s story?








In personal narratives, writers offer flashes of insights and even reflections about their experience. Does Birbiglia’s narrative offer flashes of insight about himself or this experience that demonstrate a change in his perspective? Or does he purposely present some new, potentially threatening values that clash with his long-held values? Does he offer any reflections regarding a notable change in his sense of self (or identity)?








Personal narratives rely on “show, don’t tell,” so writers must use details, details, and more details to make the story feel real to readers. In his story, how does Birbiglia SHOW the events as he experienced them?











Other forms of Imagery:






Points of Comparison:



Due Date: Monday, January 24th, by 11:59 p.m. in the “Dropbox: Analyzing Birbiglia’s “D-u-why?!” under “Assignments” on our Canvas site.


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