Fred Worrall (1890 – 1976): Purpose and Audience

When looking at Fred Worrall’s memoir, he is ambiguous to why he has written the autobiography in the first place. Unlike many memoirs where the author states the purpose of writing, the memoir Fred does not.  Fred instead does not give a hint as to why he writes his memoir. Instead, he starts by just stating when he was born, and ends by stating what he was doing in his later life. Fred also leaves his aim and purpose to writing his memoir ambiguous, as he simply writes about his life, giving no indication throughout as to why he has wanted to write and have his memoir published. However, when you closely examine his memoir in terms of what he had done in his life, I believe one of his motivations for writing his memoir is because he just likes writing. In his life, Fred had taken jobs in soliciter firms and offices, where it seems he was idealy suited to the jobs due to his love, passion and talent at writing, therefore when looking at Fred’s memoir, it can be argued that the memoir has been written simply because Fred loves writing, and to show a passion for writing, he has decided to document his life and give a detailed, vivid and accurate description of life through his eyes.

Fred begins his memoir by stating his date of birth, “12th April 1890.” Although there is nothing significant about the date, when reading further on through his memoir, becomes apparent that Fred was young when he went to fight in World War one. Fred was 24 at the time of enlisting, and when his regiment was sent to fight in the Somme, he had just turned 25.Here, we as readers are the given some insight into how young and rushed soldiers were in World War one, as Fred only had fired “fifteen rounds of live ammunition” during his whole training period.” (P. 3)

Fred Worrall’s memoir, despite being vividly detailed about his time in World War one and life in Manchester during the early 20th century, there seems to be no reason as to why he has written the autobiography. During the memoir he does not state a specific audience or person to whom he has written it for, and he makes no implication to a specific person or audience; instead, I believe Fred wrote his memoir due to his love of writing, and that he wanted to leave something to which a modern audience can read, and compare their life to. Fred’s memoir is unlike similar working class autobiographies from the time, in other autobiographies, the author has made their target audience clear and have stated if they are writing for a loved one. In his memoir, Fred also does not explicitly reference material he has specifically included or specifically excluded, although it can be argued that he does specifically include his experience in World War one, and through further reading I believe his intention in writing the autobiography is that he wants a future audience to see what it was like in the trenches in World War One, and to a further extent, Fred wanted to create a vivid experience as to what life was like to be in a regiment made up entirely of working and lower middle class men on the front lines of World War one, and the feeling to fighting in the war itself.

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