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Narrator and Voice. Feature Menu. The Narrator Omniscient Point of View First-Person Point of View Third-Person-Limited Point of View Tone Voice Practice. The Narrator.

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Presentation Transcript
narrator and voice
Narrator and Voice

Feature Menu

  • The Narrator
    • Omniscient Point of View
    • First-Person Point of View
    • Third-Person-Limited Point of View
  • Tone
  • Voice
  • Practice
the narrator
The Narrator

When you read a story, the narrator—the person telling the story—controls everything you know about the characters and events.

the narrator3
The Narrator

A writer’s choice of a narrator determines the point of view of the story—the vantage point from which the story is told.

The three main points of view are

  • omniscient
  • first person
  • third person limited

[End of Section]

omniscient point of view
Omniscient Point of View

When the omniscient point of view is used, the narrator

  • is not a character in the story
  • knows all
  • can tell us everything about every character
omniscient point of view5
Omniscient Point of View

How can youtell this is an omniscient narrator?

Quick Check

One day a young woman looked out her apartment window and saw a man playing a saxophone. “Cool,” she thought as she swayed to his tune. A big brown dog joined the man and howled along with the music.

Then a man in pajamas yelled from another window, complaining that the noise woke him up and he was going to call the police. This man, who worked the night shift and had to sleep all day, liked cats better than dogs anyway. The young saxophonist left.

[End of Section]

first person point of view
First-Person Point of View

A first-person narrator

  • is a character in the story
  • uses first-person pronouns such as I and me
  • tells us only what he or she thinks and experiences

A first-person narrator is sometimes called a persona.

first person point of view7
First-Person Point of View

Always question whether a first-person narrator is credible, or can be trusted.

An unreliable narrator is biased and does not (or cannot) tell the truth.

first person point of view8
First-Person Point of View

How can youtell this is a first-person narrator?

Quick Check

Oh, man! Just as I was finally dozing off, he starts playing that stupid saxophone. I’ve already been fired from one job because I fell asleep on the night shift. Now it’s going to happen again. I don’t know which sounds worse, that tone-deaf saxophonist or that yowling dog. I’m going to call the police.

Do you think this narrator’s opinion of the music is reliable? Why or why not?

[End of Section]

third person limited point of view
Third-Person-Limited Point of View

When the third-person-limited point of view is used, the narrator

  • gives one character’s thoughts and reactions
  • uses third-person pronouns (he,she, they)
  • tells little about other characters
third person limited point of view10
Third-Person-Limited Point of View

How can you tell this is a third-person-limited narrator?

Quick Check

He found a good spot in front of Park View Apartments and started playing soulfully on his sax. He wanted an audience and needed money. After one song, he spotted a cute girl at a window, applauding madly. A dog howled with the music, but the sax player let him stay, hoping the dog might attract some donations. Then he heard a man yelling about calling the police—clearly not a music lover.

What is this narrator’s reaction to the dog? to the yelling man?

[End of Section]

slide11

gloomy

humorous

suspenseful

Tone

Tone is the attitude a speaker or writer takes toward a subject, character, or audience. A story’s tone can be

[End of Section]

voice
Voice

Voice is the writer’s distinctive use of language and his or her overall style.

  • The writer’s tone and choice of words (diction) help create the voice.

In fiction, narrators can also be said to have a voice.

  • A narrator’s voice can affect our view of characters and events.
voice13
Voice

Notice how a distinctive voice can influence our views of certain characters.

  • What impression do you get of the saxophone player? Which words contribute to this effect?

Oh, man! Just as I was finally dozing off, he starts playing that stupid saxophone. I’ve already been fired from one job because I fell asleep on the night shift. Now it’s going to happen again. I don’t know which sounds worse, that tone-deaf saxophonist or that yowling dog. I’m going to call the police.

[End of Section]

voice14
Voice

You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged ; this was a point definitively settled - but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea ofrisk.

TRUE! - nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses - not destroyed - not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad?

[End of Section]

voice15
Voice

It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded - with what caution - with what foresight - with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.

[End of Section]

practice
Practice

Write a paragraph telling the saxophone story from the point of view of the young woman or the big brown dog. Use either the first-person or the third-person-limited point of view, and try to create a distinctive voice. Remember to show what the character is thinking and feeling.

[End of Section]

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