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Point of View. Point of view. the position or perspective from which a story is told. Point of view. POV is the way the author allows you to hear and see what is going on in a text. The narrator plays a huge part in determining point of view. First person. First person.

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point of view1
Point of view

the position or perspective from which a story is told

point of view2
Point of view
  • POV is the way the author allows you to hear and see what is going on in a text.
  • The narrator plays a huge part in determining point of view.
first person1
First person
  • the narrator takes part in the action of the story as a character
  • can use first-person pronouns like I, me, my
  • usually subjective (using opinions) and personal
  • may be considered unreliable, as this is the only perspective the reader will encounter
for example
For example…
  • In the film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Chirag narrates a story about “the cheese touch” to Greg and Rowley.


is chirag a reliable narrator
Is Chirag a reliable narrator?
  • The audience must question the information Chirag gives Greg and Rowley, as he is the ONLY point of view they encounter.
  • “The Cheese Touch” story may have happened exactly as Chirag explained, but it is more likely that Chirag may have exaggerated the events of the story.
  • Also note that Chirag did not use first-person pronouns, but his account of “the cheese touch” story is still considered first person because he was a participant in the action as a character and he interjected his personal opinions throughout.
second person1
Second person
  • the narrator addresses the reader as if he or she is part of the story
  • uses the pronouns you and your
  • this is the least common type of narration
  • Second person is often used to give advice or directions
for example1
For example…

“Now as to the matter of lying. You want to be very careful about lying; otherwise you are nearly sure to get caught. Once caught, you can never again be in the eyes to the good and the pure, what you were before.”

--Mark Twain, “Advice to Youth”

  • In the above example, who is the audience Mark Twain talking to?
third person
Third person
  • the narrator is detached from the story
  • uses pronouns he, she, and they
  • there are three types of third-person point of view
    • objective
    • limited
    • omniscient
  • Third person narration is usually objective (no opinions), impersonal, and reliable.
third person objective1
Third person objective
  • the narrator only knows the actions and words of a character; the narrator reports factual information
  • the narrator does not even know the thoughts of the characters
  • this is objective because it is impersonal and no opinions or feelings are involved
  • For example…

“He was dressed in an old plain khaki uniform, with several buttons lacking. He hadn't recently shaved, wore no hat, and his hair had not been brushed. He walked a little pigeon-toed, humped over, with his hands in his trousers pockets. As he entered the aisle between the rigid lines of soldiers he seemed slightly embarrassed, and grinned and nodded to a compadre here and there in the ranks.”

-”The Rise of Pancho Villa” by John Reed

third person limited1
Third person limited
  • the reader is made aware of the thoughts and feelings of only one character
  • For example…

“As she walked up the hill, she realized that the atmosphere was just too quiet. There was no sound from the cardinal who she so often heard singing from the top of the maple tree. She thought she saw a shadow move high up on the slope, but when she looked again it was gone. Nevertheless, she shuddered as she felt a silent threat pass over her. It felt like a cloud creeping over the sun.”

third person omniscient1
Third person omniscient
  • the word omniscient means all-knowing
  • the thoughts and feelings of two or more characters are open to the reader; in other words, the narrator knows everything
  • the reader may even know information that the characters in the story are not aware of
for example2
For example…
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJFmHzhFk_U

In Pixar’s Boundin’, the narrator is not a character in the story, but he is able to tell the events of the story from a

third person perspective.

Is this objective, limited or

omniscient? How do you know?