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Point of View

In Literature

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The point of view of a book is the method and perspective an author uses for conveying the story.

A "first person" point of view uses "I" and sounds a little bit like reading a journal. The narrator witnesses events first hand and expresses how it looks and feels through his or her experience. From Huckleberry Finn:

"Tom's most well now, and got his bullet around his neck on a watch-guard for a watch, and is always seeing what time it is, and so there ain't nothing more to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if I'd a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't a tackled it, and ain't a-going to no more."

A second person point of view is seldom used, which makes sense if you think about it. In second person, the writer speaks directly to the reader. This would be awkward and confusing in a novel!

The third person is the most common type of narration. Of this type, two varieties are used in most of the novels you read.

Omniscient narration provides an insight to the thoughts, feelings, and impressions of all the characters and events. We receive information from an all-knowing vantage point—and we even know what’s going on when nobody is around to experience it.

In an objective or dramatic point of view, we are told events and allowed to react and have feelings as an observer. We are not provided the emotions, we experience emotions, based on the events we read about. While this may sound impersonal, it is just the opposite. This is much like observing a film or a play—and we know how powerful that can be!

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