I Want 'You': Pronouns and the Military
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This project involves analyzing the various ways in which the second-person pronoun “you” changes aspects of witnessing when discussing war. The goal is to examine various uses of the pronoun “you,” dissecting both the author’s intentions in using this particular pronoun and the effect it has on the reader in regards to their position outside or inside the story being told. This has been done by applying theories of pronoun use, witnessing, and recognition to a sample of war memoirs, war novels, war reports, and interviews with war veterans. Through an in-depth examination of the specific functions of various instances of the pronoun “you,” this research seeks to propose a theory for how the second-person pronoun may be used to facilitate or hinder the act of witnessing.
French, Neddie (2014). I Want 'You': Pronouns and the Military. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from