Point of View Narrative
Definition of Point of View • (Who’s telling this story anyway?) • -the vantagepoint from which the story is told. • -determines how much we, the readers, know about the characters. • - especially when told at different ages
1st Person • Story is told from the inside; narrator is a participant in the action: I, ME, WE, US • Narrator is often the protagonist or minor character; we see only what he/she sees, in the way that he/she sees it. • Advantage: first person narrator has immediacy and a sense of life. • Disadvantage: the author may be frustrated in that he/she can only include things that the narrator would be expected to know; also, we are locked within the mind of the narrator.
Second Person Point of View: • Uses you as the subject. YOU • Take out the garbage. • “You open your eyes and the sun is already high in the sky. You’ve slept away the whole morning. You roll over on the hot sand, scrambling to your knees. The events of last night come rushing back to you…” • Gives commands. • Disadvantage: Sounds impersonal, sounds as though someone is talking to you. • Advantage: Can be used to make an impression on the reader; put them in your shoes
3rd Objective • It appears as though a camera is following the characters, going anywhere, and recording only what is seen and heard • These verbs will not be in the passage: believe, think, thought, felt • The narrator never discloses anything about what the we don’t know what the characters think or feel, remaining a detached observer. • It was summer. The children sat on the block of ice. Will said, “I hate you.” • Advantages: • Get to know multiple characters • Disadvantages: • There is no comment on the characters or their thoughts • No interpretations are offered • The reader is placed in the position of spectator without the author there to explain • The reader has to interpret events on his own.
3rd Person Limited • Narrator does not participate in action of story. • Narrator does not refer to himself or herself. • "This Anselmo had been a good guide and he could travel wonderfully in the mountains. Robert Jordan could walk well enough himself and he knew from following him since before daylight that the old man could walk him to death. Robert Jordan trusted the man, Anselmo, so far, in everything except judgment. He had not yet had an opportunity to test his judgment, and, anyway, the judgment was his own responsibility." • Advantages • Relates to ONE character. You know their thoughts and feelings. You can describe events even when your view-point character isn't present.It's easier to describe the view-point character(s) - you can just say straight out what they're like. • Disadvantages • You don’t know the WHOLE story
3rd Person Omniscient • Narrator does not refer to himself or herself. • Narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all characters; readers get insight into several characters. • She thought she saw a shadow move high up on the slope, but when she looked again it was gone. The man thought if he could stay hidden until she came within range, she'd have to talk to him. Wouldn't she? The girl shuddered as she felt a silent threat pass over her. It felt like a cloud creeping over the sun. • Godlike narrator; he/she can enter character's minds and know everything that is going on, past, present, and future. • Advantage: very natural technique; author is, after all, omniscient regarding his work. • Disadvantage: unlifelike; narrator knows and tells all; is truly a convention of literature
Examples: • In order to serve a TV dinner, you will need several items: an oven or microwave and a frozen dinner which you’ve purchased at a grocery store. First of all, you turn your oven to the required temperature setting as stated on the box. Next, you need to remove the dinner from the box and take off the plastic cover. Then you put your dinner in the oven for the suggested number of minutes. Finally, when the dinner is cooked, you’re ready for a gourmet feast. • SECOND PERSON POINT OF VIEW • Maggie Wetherfield was walking to Jessica’s house for a sleepover when she noticed Allen following her. She started to walk a little faster. When she heard him calling her name, she stopped. He came running to her and asked if she had tonight’s homework. She replied, “We have to do math pages seven through nine, numbers one through twenty-four.” • THIRD PERSON OBJECTIVE • Several people have made a lasting impression on me. I remember one person in particular who was significant to me. Mr. Smith, my high school English teacher, helped my family and me through a difficult time during my junior year. We appreciated his care, kindness, and financial help after the loss of our home in a devastating fire. • FIRST PERSON POINT OF VIEW
Examples: • The bosses at the factory have decided that employees need a day of in-house training. They have scheduled times for everyone, no matter what department he’s in. Several senior employees will be required to make five-minute presentations. One is not eager to speak in front of others since she’s very shy. Another one, however, is anxious to relate her expertise. The variation in routine should provide an interesting day for all people concerned. • THIRD PERSON OMNISCIENT • One day Tina went to the movies. She went to see Epic Movie. Tina thought she should purchase a plate of nachos, a pop, and a box of candy, but her friend thought she shouldn’t. Tina purchased the food anyway. • THIRD PERSON LIMITED