Speaking in Third Person
These are quotes from the Books I have found to be of interest on the topic of Speaking in Third Person.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
"Does Phyllis remember the lash?" asked Flaminius.
The girl's eyes widened with fear. "Yes," she said.
"Then say so," said Flaminius.
I whispered in Gorean to Ho-Tu, as though I could not understand what was transpiring. "What is he doing with them?"
Ho-Tu shrugged. "He is teaching them they are slaves," he said.
"I remember the lash," said Phyllis.
"Phyllis remembers the lash," corrected Flaminius.
"I am not a child!" she cried.
"You are a slave," said Flaminius.
"No," she said. "No!"
"I see," said Flaminius, sadly, "it will be necessary to beat you."
"Phyllis remembers the lash," said the girl numbly.
Behind me I heard Virginia and Phyllis cry out with pain. I turned a bit to see that Ho-Sorl had a fist in the hair of each, twisting it, pulling their heads back to him. "Slaves," said he, "will not speak of what they see today."
"No, Master!" said Virginia.
"No, no!" cried Phyllis. Ho-Sorl's hand twisted her head and hair cruelly. "No, Master!" cried Phyllis. "No, Master! Phyllis will not speak!"
"Who!" she demanded.
"I did," I cried. "I did!"
"Speak as a slave!" demanded Ute.
"El-in-or betrayed Ute!" I cried. "El-in-or betrayed Ute!"
"Master," she whispered.
"Yes?" I said.
"May I be taught to dance?" she asked.
"Who is 'I'?" I questioned.
"Alyena, your slave girl, Master," she whispered, "begs to be taught to dance."
"Perhaps she will be taught," I said.
"She is grateful," said the girl.
"Do you want Darlene branded?" she asked.
"No," I said, "of course not!" I was surprised that she had spoken of herself as she did, using her name. This is not uncommon, of course, among Gorean female slaves.
"Perhaps I should switch you again, tomorrow," said Iwoso.
"Please do not do so, Mistress," said Bloketu. I gathered that Iwoso's switchings, in their way, tended to be quite efficient. They were probably administered to the bare skin, with the girl tied in such a way as to maximize their effect.
"Beg properly," said Iwoso.
"Bloketu, the maiden, begs her mistress not to switch her," sobbed Bloketu.
"Does Ina beg food of her captor?" I asked.
"Yes," she said. "Ina begs food of her captor."
I must decide how to tell this story. They have permitted me that much. It is my story, a very personal story, and so, it seems, one might most naturally use first-person discourse, and say, for example, "I did this," and "I saw that," and so on, and yet I am reluctant, afflicted with a certain timidity, to affect this voice. Perhaps I could speak more straightforwardly, more candidly, if I saw myself as another might see me, and yet, at the same time, saw myself, as well, from within, candidly, openly, hiding nothing, as one within, as I myself, might know me. So then I might say "She did this," and "She saw that," knowing that the "she" is myself, my own sentient, so much, sometimes so painfully so, self-aware self. How shall one speak? Perhaps I shall shift my modality of discourse, as seems appropriate, given what I must say, what I must tell. I do not know. How foolish to hesitate before such a small matter you might suppose, but to me it does not seem so small at all. It might seem a simple thing, how to tell a story, but it is not so easy for me. You might, of course, I do not know you, find no difficulty in this. But had you had my experiences, and were you I, were you faced with yourself, and frightened, or disconcerted, or shamed, you might, too, seek to distance yourself from that most sensitive, usually most zealously concealed, of subject matters, yourself. So I thought that I might begin, at least, by speaking in the third person, by considering myself, by seeing myself, from within and without, rather as an object, a particular object. Too, this is, I conjecture, in my current reality, not altogether unfitting; indeed, it is altogether appropriate, for you see that is what I now am, categorically, explicitly, an object, and not merely in the eyes of the law, but such irremediably, incontrovertibly, in the very reality of this world. So perhaps then I should write of myself as an object, for that is what I now am, as a simple matter of fact, an object, no longer a person, that no longer, if I were once that, but an object, to be sure, a very particular object, but one of countless hundreds, perhaps thousands of such, I do not know, in many cities, and towns, and camps and villages, like me, a vital, sentient, so much alive, so vulnerable, essentially helpless, beautiful I am told, object.
"You may speak," he said, after a time.
"Master's slave loves him," she whispered.
"Perhaps you should beg to be collared," I said.
"Please, Master," she said, "collar me."
"Who begs?" I inquired.
"Jane," she said, "Jane, the slave of Pertinax of Tarncamp, begs to be collared."
"It will be done," said Pertinax.
"Speak," I said to the slave.
"The slave," she whispered, "is eager to serve master."
"Speak," I said.
"It is the hope of this girl," said the first, "that her service will be found pleasing by masters."
"It is the hope of this girl," said the second, "that her service will be found pleasing by masters."
"Speak," I said.
"It is the hope of this girl," said the first, "that if her service is not found pleasing by masters, she will be well punished."
"It is the hope of this girl," said the second, "that if her service is not found pleasing by masters, she will be well punished."
"Alcinoë would do much to please her master," she whispered.
"Speak louder, slave," I said.
"Alcinoë would do much to please her master," she said.
"Mistress has erred," I said. "I am not red-silk."
"Who speaks?" asked an instructress.
"Allison," I said. "This slave speaks." I felt tears form in my eyes.
"And what has she to say?" asked an instructress.
"She says," I said, "that she is not red-silk, that she is white-silk."
"Is Mistress pleased?" I asked.
"You may put that differently," said the Lady Bina.
"Is Mistress pleased with Allison?" I asked.
"May I speak?" she asked.
"Does Saru wish to speak?" I asked.
"Yes," she said, "Saru wishes to speak."