Biography and autobiography are two literary genres that revolve around the life stories of individuals. Despite sharing a common subject matter, there are distinct differences between these two forms of literature. While both biography and autobiography aim to tell the life story of an individual, they differ in terms of authorship and perspective. In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between biography and autobiography with the help of a table and other key differences.
Biography Vs Autobiography (Chart)
|Biography refers to a written account of someone else’s life, usually written by a third-party author.
|An autobiography refers to a written account of one’s own life, written by the person themselves.
|It is written in the third person point of view
|It is written in the first-person point of view
|For biography, research is required to gather information from primary and secondary sources
|In this case, the author writes from their own perspective and relies on their own memory
|Biography is intended for a general audience interested in learning about the subject’s life.
|It is intended for a specific audience interested in learning about the author’s life
|It can be written anytime.
|It is usually written later in life.
|For Example “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson, and “Becoming” by Michelle Obama.
|For Example “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Malcolm X and Alex Haley, “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank.
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What is Biography?
A biography is a written account of a person’s life story, written by another person. It is an objective account of the life of an individual, including significant events, accomplishments, and notable contributions. A biographer conducts extensive research to gather information about the individual, including interviews with family members, friends, and colleagues. Biographers often use primary sources such as diaries, letters, and other personal documents to gain a deeper understanding of the subject’s life.
A biography can be written in various formats, including a chronological account of the subject’s life, a thematic approach that focuses on specific aspects of the individual’s life, or a combination of both. Biographies can be written for a wide audience or targeted to a specific demographic. Biographies can also be written in different styles, such as academic or popular, depending on the intended readership.
What is Autobiography?
An autobiography is a written account of a person’s life story, written by the individual themselves. It is a first-person account of one’s life experiences, providing insights into the author’s thoughts, feelings, and personal perspectives. Autobiographies often provide a deeper understanding of the subject’s life, as they offer unique insights into the individual’s thought processes and motivations.
Autobiographies can also be written in various formats, including a chronological account of the author’s life, a thematic approach that focuses on specific events or experiences, or a combination of both. Like biographies, autobiographies can be written for a wide audience or targeted to a specific demographic.
Key Differences Between Biography and Autobiography
While comparing biography and autobiography, here we have included some of the key differences between them. They are as follows.
- Authorship: The most significant difference between biography and autobiography is authorship. A biography is written by another person, while an autobiography is written by the individual themselves. Biographies are therefore objective accounts of the subject’s life, while autobiographies are subjective accounts of the author’s experiences.
- Perspective: Biographies offer an outsider’s perspective on the subject’s life, while autobiographies offer a first-person perspective. Autobiographies provide unique insights into the author’s thoughts, feelings, and personal experiences. On the other hand, biographies rely on interviews and primary sources to gain a deeper understanding of the subject’s life.
- Purpose: Biographies are often written to provide an objective account of an individual’s life. On the other hand, autobiographies are often written to offer a personal perspective on the author’s life experiences. Biographies can also be written to provide insights into historical events or cultural movements. In contrast, autobiographies are often written for therapeutic or personal reasons.
The following comparison table also shows the difference between biography and autobiography in a brief manner.
3 Similarities between Biography and Autobiography
- Both genres aim to tell the life story of an individual. Whether written by an author or the individual themselves, both biographies and autobiographies aim to provide a comprehensive account of the subject’s life experiences.
- Both genres rely on extensive research to gather information about the subject’s life. Biographers conduct interviews and use primary sources to gain a deeper understanding of the individual’s life, while autobiographers draw on their personal experiences and memories to create a first-person account.
- And finally, both genres can be written in various formats, including a chronological account of the subject’s life or a thematic approach that focuses on specific events or experiences.
In conclusion, biography and autobiography are two distinct genres that share a common subject matter. whether you prefer reading about the lives of others or writing about your own experiences, both biography, and autobiography offer rich and engaging narratives that can inspire, educate, and entertain readers for generations to come.