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Analyze the Impact of the Point of View

Analyze the Impact of the Point of View

Author: Sydney Bauer
Description:
This lesson introduces the impact of the point of view on the narrative.
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Tutorial

Analyzing the Impact of the Point of View

 

 

Remember that analysis involves breaking down a subject, making observations, and then evaluating the relationship between the parts and the whole.

 

If the subject is the point of view of a work of fiction, then an analysis would include breaking down the point of view into it’s elements, observing how point of view affects the story, and then evaluating the relationship between the point of view and the story.

 

In works of fiction, the point of view determines what the reader knows about the events of the plot, as well as how the reader should feel about the events. Point of view is the lens that readers see the story through; the story is filtered through the storyteller.

 

 

Step One: Determine the point of view.

  • Is the narrative told in First, Second, or Third Person?
    • What pronouns does the narrator use to refer to the characters? Remember that First Person uses “I” and “me”; Second Person uses “you”; Third Person uses “he,” “she,” “they,” and “it.”
    • Is the narrator’s point of view reliable or unreliable? Can the reader take their word for it, or would the reader be better off judging the events for him or herself?
       

Step Two: Determine how the author establishes point of view (besides the use of certain pronouns).

  • What descriptive details are used to create point of view?
  • Does the narrator participate in the events of the plot, or is there a distance between the narrator and the events?
  • How much access does the narrator have to the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the other characters?
     

Step Three: Analyze how that particular point of view affects the story. Imagine the story told from a different point of view (from first to third person, or third person omniscient to third person neutral, etc.).

  • What would change in the story? Would the reader gain new knowledge from the new point of view, or would the reader miss out on important information?
  • Would the reader feel differently about one or more of the characters if the story was told from a different point of view? Why or why not?

​Using your responses to these basic questions, you can then begin to observe how the point of view impacts the narrative.