Point of view Presentation


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A detailed introduction to all the major literary points of view

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Point of view Presentation

  1. 1. POINT of VIEW From whose perspective...?
  2. 2. 1st Person POV  I, me, my, we, our…
  3. 3. First person Narrator • Uses “I” • Story is told from a main character’s POV
  4. 4. First person Narrator Benefits: • Readers see events from the perspective of an important character • Readers often understand the main character better
  5. 5. First person Narrator Detriments: • The narrator may be unreliable—insane, naïve, deceptive, narrow minded etc... • Readers see only one perspective
  6. 6. First person Narrator “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them.” --J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
  7. 7. First person PERSON cont’d FIRST Narrator “You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but it ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain and he told the truth, mainly. There was things he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another...” --Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1881)
  8. 8. First person Narrator • 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? Hearken! and observe how healthily--how calmly I can tell you the whole story. --Edgar Allan Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1850)
  9. 9. First person Narrator • There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On weekends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight... --F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
  10. 10. 2nd Person POV  You, yours, your, yourself
  11. 11. 2nd Person POV • A second-person POV is rare • Uses “you” and presents commands • Often the narrator is speaking to him/herself
  12. 12. 2nd Person POV • “Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry; dont walk barehead in the hot sun; cook pumpkin fritters in very hot sweet oil; soak your little cloths right after you take them off; when buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it doesnt have gum on it, because that way it wont hold up well after a wash; soak salt fish overnight before you cook it;” --Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”
  13. 13. 2nd Person POV • You are not the kind of guy who would be a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy. You are at a nightclub talking to a girl with a shaved head. The club is either Heartbreak or the Lizard Lounge. All might come clear if you could just slip into the bathroom and do a little more Bolivian Marching Powder. Then again, it might not. --Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City (1984)
  14. 14. 3rd Person POV  Omniscient  Limited Omniscient  Objective
  15. 15. 3rd Person POV: Omniscient  Omniscient = all knowing…the narrator can see into the minds of all characters
  16. 16. 3rd Person POV: Omniscient Omniscient: • godlike narrator; he/she can enter characters minds and know everything that is going on, past, present, and future. • May be a narrator outside the text
  17. 17. 3rd Person POV: Omniscient •Advantage: very natural technique; author is, after all, omniscient regarding his work.
  18. 18. 3rd Person POV: Omniscient • Disadvantage: not lifelike; narrator knows and tells all; is truly a convention of literature
  19. 19. 3rd Person POV: Omniscient A poor man had twelve children and worked night and day just to get enough bread for them to eat. Now when the thirteenth came into the world, he did not know what to do and in his misery ran out onto the great highway to ask the first person he met to be godfather. The first to come along was God, and he already knew what it was that weighed on the man’s mind and said, “Poor man, I pity you. I will hold your child at the font and I will look after it and make it happy upon earth.” • --Jakob & Wilhelm Grimm, “Godfather Death” (1812)
  20. 20. 3rd Person POV: Omniscient • “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its nosiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” • --Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
  21. 21. 3rd Person POV: Limited Omniscient  Narrator can see into ONE character’s mind.
  22. 22. 3rd Person POV: Limited Omniscient „ All characters have thought privacy except ONE.
  23. 23. 3rd Person POV: Limited Omniscient „ Gives the impression that we are very close to the mind of that ONE character, though viewing it from a distance.
  24. 24. 3rd Person POV: Limited Omniscient „ Sometimes this narrator can be too focused or may impose his/her own opinions with no grounds.
  25. 25. 3rd Person POV: Limited Omniscient • The girl he loved was shy and quick and the smallest in the class, and usually she said nothing, but one day she opened her mouth and roared, and when the teacher--it was French class-- asked her what she was doing, she said, in French, I am a lion, and he wanted to smell her breath and put his hand against the rumblings in her throat. --Elizabeth Graver, “The Boy Who Fell Forty Feet” (1993)
  26. 26. 3rd Person POV: Limited Omniscient „ Although she had been around them her whole life, it was when she reached thirty-five that holding babies seemed to make her nervous--just at the beginning, a twinge of stage fright swinging up from the gut. “Andrienne, would you like to hold the baby? Would you mind?” Always these words from a woman her age looking kind and beseeching--a former friend, she was losing her friends to babble and beseech-- and Andrienne would force herself to breathe deep. Holding a baby was no longer natural--she was no longer natural--but a test of womanliness and earthly skills.
  27. 27. 3rd Person POV: Objective  Narrator only describes and does not enter characters’ thoughts.
  28. 28. 3rd Person POV: Objective „ Like a video camera, the narrator reports what happens and what the characters are saying.
  29. 29. 3rd Person POV: Objective „ The narrator adds no comment about how the characters are feeling.
  30. 30. 3rd Person POV: Objective „ The narrator offers no comment on the mood of the setting— no mention of awkwardness, ease, t ension etc...
  31. 31. 3rd Person POV: Objective • The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o’clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 26th, but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o’clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner. --Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” (1948)
  32. 32. 3rd Person POV: Objective"You should have killed yourself last week," he said to the deaf man. The old man motioned with his finger. "A little more," he said. The waiter poured on into the glass so that the brandy slopped over and ran down the stem into the top saucer of the pile. "Thank you," the old man said. The waiter took the bottle back inside the cafe. He sat down at the table with his colleague again."Hes drunk now," he said."Hes drunk every night.""What did he want to kill himself for?""How should I know.""How did he do it?""He hung himself with a rope.""Who cut him down?""His niece.""Why did they do it?""Fear for his soul."“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”by Ernest Hemingway
  33. 33. POINT of VIEW Remember, Point of View =Who is telling the story and how much they contribute. The end.