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    The point of view is the perspective from which a literary work is told.  An author chooses the point of view for its precise effect on the meaning of the story.  The author determines whose words are being read, where the narrator stands in relation to the events, and whether the events are viewed from a fixed or mobile point of view.  Pont of View itself is NOT a technique, but a category of different perspectives.  The techniques you would use are listed below.

     

    First Person / Participant Point of View

         The first-person pronouns are used such as I, me, we, us, and our.

       

    • The narrator may be a major character in the story.  (The story is told by and is chiefly about the narrator.)

     

    • The narrator may be a minor character in the story.  (The narrator tells a story that focuses on someone else, but the narrator is still a character in the story.)

     

    • Innocent Eye Narrator:  The character telling the story may be child or a  developmentally disabled individual; the narrator is thus naïve.  The contrast  between what the innocent-eye narrator perceives and what the reader understands may produce an ironic effect.

     

    • Stream of consciousness is a narrative method in which the author tells the story through the unbroken flow of thought and awareness.  This technique attempts to capture exactly what is going on in the mind of the character.

     

    How do you analyze First  Person Point of View?

    Consider the following:

    Purposes of Participant / First Person Point of View

    • Offers immediacy.
    • The narrator can approach other characters closely.
    • The narrator can be an eyewitness.
    • The narrator can summarize events and retreat to mediate on their significance.

    Special Issues with First Person

    • The reader must determine if the narrator is trustworthy.
    • The narrator only understands what he or she observes or hears; he or she cannot enter the minds of the characters.
    • The narrator’s conclusions may be inaccurate.
    • The reader must question the narrator’s validity of conclusions and opinions.
    • The first person narrative may contribute to irony, such as when there is a discrepancy between what the narrator knows and what the readers knows.

     

     

     Third Person / Non-participant Point of View

    The third person pronouns are used such as he, him, she, her, they, and them.

     

    • Omniscient narrator – The author can enter the minds of all the characters

     

    How do you analyze the Omniscient Point of View? 

    Consider the following:

            Purposes of Omniscient Non-participant Point of View

                             The narrator describes what the characters are feeling and thinking.

                             The narrator describes what characters do.

                             The narrator may shift focus from a closer view to a broader perspective.

                             The narrator may comment on events and characters, thus explaining

                              their significance.

                             The narrator may offer multiple perspectives on the same event.

     

     

    • Limited (Selective) Omniscient – The author limits his omniscience to the minds of a few of the characters or the mind of a single character

    How do you analyze the Limited Omniscient Point of View? 

    Consider the following:

         Purpose of the Limited Omniscient Point of View

                            There is as sense of distance from the characters.

                            It approximates conditions of life in that only one character’s thoughts are 
                            known.  The story is very unified.   

     

    • Objective narrator – The author does not enter a single mind, but instead records what can be seen or heard. 

    How do you analyze the Objective Point of View? 

    Consider the following:

            Purposes of Objective Point of View

                 It allows inferences to be made by readers through their observance of dialogue and actions.  Readers are not directly influenced by the author’s statements.

     

    Adjectives for use in Literary Discussion when describing the author, speaker, or narrator:

    Cultured

    Intellectual

    Erudite

    Well read

    Sagacious

    Sensible

    Rational

    Philosophic

    Analytical

    Imaginative

    Perceptive

    Visionary

    Prophetic

    Optimistic

    Broad minded

    Idealistic

    Religious

    Orthodox

    Sympathetic

    Sophisticated

    Original

    Clever

    Witty

    Humorous

    Whimsical

    Conservative

    Progressive

    Radical

    Reactionary

    Unprejudiced

    Realistic

    Romantic

    Uncultured

    Unintelligent

    Naïve

    Shallow

    Superficial

    Bigoted

    Opinionated

    Intolerant

    Hypocritical

    Fanatical

    Provincial

    Narrow-minded

    Pessimistic

    Cynical

    Egotistical

    Sentimental