Difference Between Autobiography And Biography

Difference Between Autobiography And Biography

The lives about great men and honorable preachers and saints of every era are known from the autobiographies and biographies written by great writers. Great men who wanted to leave behind their experiences and ideas for the future generation and had a flair for writing, often wrote autobiographies while those who wished to work on the lives of great men and wanted to let the world know about their success, presented biographies to enrich the literary world.

Fact 1 What Is An Autobiography

The word “autobiography” comes from the Greek words, “autos” meaning self and “bios” meaning life. Therefore an autobiography is a written document of the life of a person which has been penned down by the person himself. To express more clearly, an autobiography is the story of life as narrated by the individual himself. However, it does not contain a simple life story. Rather, it contains what the person realizes and experiences and how he discovers various truths throughout his/her life.

Fact 2 What Is A Biography

A Biography is historical in nature. It is the work of great writers who have either been in contact with the individual about whom they write or have done intensive research work about well-known figures whose lives and works convey important messages and offer various thoughts and visions of the great men. A biography contains details about the lives of the characters and along with it other information like education, relationships, work life as well as experiences about all the events. Certain biographies also contain analysis of the personality of the characters and the views of great thinkers about him.

Fact 3 Difference Between Autobiography And Biography

Autobiography and biography both deal with the lives and works of great men. But there are quite a few differences between the two documents such as:

  1. Autobiography is written by the individual himself about his life and experiences. Biography is written by another writer about someone whose life offers profound influence on other people.
  2. When an individual writes about his own life, naturally it has a personal and all details about himself in a more vivid manner. It contains his feelings as well as his desires which is lacking in a biography. Since a biography is a written document that is well researched, it sometimes offers something more than general information about one’s life. It contains all details about a person’s life, education, work and death but cannot express his feelings. It lacks the personal touch.
  3. To write an autobiography one does not require any authorization for he is responsible entirely for what he writes. But a biography, to be authentic and trustworthy has to be authorized. One has to take the permission of the subject before publishing a biography. Unauthorized biographies may contain errors.
  4. An autobiography comes directly from the mind and heart of the writer. Hence readers can easily connect with the writer and his feelings. But a biography is technical in essence. However, the fact remains that autobiography makes the readers see the person as he portrays himself whereas a biography contains the views of many people that enables readers to get a better picture of the person and his era.
  5. Another difference between an autobiography and biography is in the standard of the language or expressions used by the writers. A biographer is a professional writer and is more experienced in expressing ideas and thoughts in vivid language and portraying facts in a non-personalized manner. An autobiographer is a person who simply wants to write about himself and his experiences in a simple manner only to reach out to the masses at large. The element of literature is lacking in an autobiography. However, there are great men who were great writers too and their autobiographies occupy a high position in the literary world.

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