2What is a Narrator?A narrator is the person speaking to readers in a story—the person who is telling the story.A narrator is NOT the author, or writer of the story.The narrator IS a character the author has created to report the story.
3Point of ViewPoint of View refers to the style of narrator an author chooses to use in their writing.It is the angle from which the narrator tells the story.We will address three types of point of view, or narrative style. They are:Omniscient Point of ViewFirst-Person Point of ViewThird-Person-Limited Point of View
4Omniscient Point of View An Omniscient narrator knows all and sees all that happens in a story and has access to the inner thoughts and feelings of all characters.An Omniscient narrator is usually reliable and trustworthy.
5For Example…“They sat on the Terrace and many of the fishermen made fun of the old man and he was not angry. Others, of the old fishermen, looked at him and were sad. But they did not show it and they spoke politely about the current and the depths they had drifted their lines at and the steady good weather and of what they had seen.” *Excerpt from Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea
6Omniscient Point of View: Advantages Readers have access to all the information, thoughts, and feelings happening in a story.Readers know that they can trust the narrator.
7Omniscient Point of View: Disadvantages It is difficult to form a bond or to be able to empathize with the narrator.It can get a bit confusing when an omniscient narrator jumps around from place to place or from one person’s thoughts to another’s quickly.
8First-Person Point of View From this point of view readers see the world through the eyes of the narrator. We know only what the narrator knows, feels, or thinks.A First-Person narrator is involved in the action of the story, usually as a main character, and refers to themselves as “I.”This type of narrator is not always reliable or trustworthy.
9For Example…“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled -- but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.”*Excerpt from Edgar Alan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado
10First-Person Point of View: Advantages The narrator is able to share personal thoughts and feelings.The narrator is an actual character the reader can get to know.Readers are given a first-hand account of the events in the story.
11First-Person Point of View: Disadvantages The narrator is not always trustworthy or reliableReaders are limited to only what the narrator can see or report.
12Third-Person-Limited Point of View This narrator tells the story from the perspective of an observer and refers to characters with pronouns such as he, she, or they.The narrator views the action from the perspective of one character so readers are limited to what this character observes or experiences. Readers almost never know what other characters are thinking.
13For Example…The communicator faded to a faint rustle of sound, and he turned back to the girl. She was leaning forward on the bench, almost rigid, her eyes fixed wide and frightened. “What did he mean, to go through with it? To jettison me…to go through with it—what did he mean? Not the way it sounded…he couldn’t have. What did he mean—what did he really mean?” Her time was too short for the comfort of a lie to be more than a cruelly fleeting delusion. “He meant it the way it sounded.” *Excerpt from Tom Godwin’s short story ,“The Cold Equations”
14Third-Person Limited Point of View: Advantages Readers are able to see the story through the eyes of a specific character.Readers are privy to the thoughts and feelings of one of the characters in the story.
15Third-Person Limited Point of View: Disadvantages Readers are limited to only what the narrator sees or can report.Readers almost never know the thoughts and feelings of other characters in the story.
16Determining Point of View When trying to determine which style of narration an author is using ask yourself these questions:Who is telling the story?How much does this narrator know and understand?How much does this narrator want me to know?Can I trust this narrator?
17VoiceThis is the author’s use of language, word choice and tone (or attitude) in his/her writing.An author’s voice can be consistent throughout all of their literary works and can give readers some insight into aspects of the author’s character.Voice can also refer to a narrator. A narrator’s voice is heard in the words they speak and the attitudes they convey.
18ToneTone refers to the attitudes of a speaker or an author regarding specific subjects, characters, or even the reader.Tone can reveal enthusiasm, sarcasm, humor, irony, hope, and so on.