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Difference between Autobiography and Biography

Main Difference

A biography is a detailed non-fictional account of someone’s life. It is an overview of the person’s life, including the basic facts such as education, work, relationships, and death and the person’s experiences of these events. An autobiography is a biography that is written by the subject himself. A biography can be authorized or unauthorized. An authorized biography is written with the permission and input of its subject.However, an autobiography need not be authorized or unauthorized, as the subject is writing about his own life, he does not require permission.

Autobiography

autobiographyAn autobiography on the other hand is an account of the life of a person written by that person himself/herself. The word auto means ‘self’. therefore, autobiography contains all the elements of a biography but is written by the person by himself.

Biography

biographyA biography also referred as ‘bio’ is a detailed account of a person’s life written or produced by another person. It gives a elaborate information regarding the birth place, education, work, relationships and death of the person concerned.

Key Differences

  • Biography is a detailed account of a person’s life written by someone else, while autobiography is written by the subject themselves.
  • Biography can be written with (authorized) or without permission (unauthorized) from the person/heir’s concerned. Therefore, there are chances of factual mistakes in the information. on the other hand, autobiographies are self written and therefore doesn’t require any authorization.
  • Biographies contain information that is collected over a period of time from different sources and thus it projects a different outlook to the readers. On the other hand, autobiographies are written by the subject themselves, therefore, the writer presents the facts and his thinking in his own way, thus providing an overall narrow and biased perspective to the readers.
  • In an Autobiography the author uses the first narrative like I, me, we, he, she, etc. This in turn makes an intimate connection between the author and the reader since the reader experience various aspects as if he/she is in that time period. As opposed a biography is from a third person’s view and is much less intimate.
  • A biography can be authorized or unauthorized. An authorized biography is written with the permission and input of its subject.However, an autobiography need not be authorized or unauthorized, as the subject is writing about his own life, he does not require permission.
  • In an autobiography, the subject is the writer and narrator, so the details are all through his eyes. This is called subjectivity, meaning that the message has a personal bias. A biography, however, is written based upon extensive research and a huge number of sources, giving the work more objectivity.
  • Since an autobiographer writes from his own mind, language and memories, you are able to connect with him and his words, feeling as if he is actually speaking to you. This can also be a flaw, since you only see his life from one angle, and the way the subject sees himself may be far different from the way others see him. One advantage of reading a biography is that it uses as many points of view as possible to give you a more complete picture of the individual, time period, friends, culture, world view and social history.
  • An autobiographer tells portions of his own life, using first-person narrative with pronouns such as “I,” “me” and “we,” while biographies retell stories in the third-person voice with pronouns like “he,” “she” and “they.”

Video Explanation

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