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BBL 3207 Point of View. Point of View in Conversation Consider the sentence below, said by one male student to another in a coffee bar. Whose viewpoint.

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Presentation on theme: "BBL 3207 Point of View. Point of View in Conversation Consider the sentence below, said by one male student to another in a coffee bar. Whose viewpoint."— Presentation transcript:

1 BBL 3207 Point of View

2 Point of View in Conversation Consider the sentence below, said by one male student to another in a coffee bar. Whose viewpoint do the highlighted parts of the sentence express/take into account, and how do you know? When I come to your place tomorrow, will your sister be there?

3 The discourse could be represented as below: Addresser 1 MessageAddressee 1 The same discourse structure would appear to account for prototypical poems, like Wordsworth's 'Daffodils'. The poet, Wordsworth, appears to write directly to the reader, and so he is the addresser. There is no specific person that the poem is addressed to, and so by default the reader appears to be the addressee. Addresser 1 MessageAddressees 1,2,3

4 When I met Sharon yesterday she told me that her sister was ill. How many levels of discourse this time? Who are the addressers and addressees?

5 When I met Sharon yesterday she told me that her sister was ill. How many levels of discourse this time? Who are the addressers and addressees? There are two levels of discourse here. Student A talks to student B, and in doing so, he reports what Sharon said to him on a previous occasion. Hence one discourse situation is reported, or embedded, inside another. ADDRESSER 1 ADDRESSER 2 ADDRESSEE 2 (Previous Discourse) STUDENT A ADDRESSEE 1 (Current Discourse) STUDENT B Message

6 The prototypical 'doubled' discourse structure of drama The one-level discoursal structure is typical of most poems, but the two-level discourse structure is more typical of drama. Playwrights write plays for audiences and readers, but they do not communicate directly with their addressees, as poets typically do. Instead, they communicate meanings indirectly to their audience by having their characters communicate with one another on stage. So the following diagram represents the discourse structure involved when one character says something to another character in a play: ADDRESSER 1 (Playwright) ADDRESSER 2 (Character A) ADDRESSEE 2 (Character B) ADDRESSEE 1 (Audience / Reader) Message

7 Note that in a play which has just two characters, there are at least FOUR points of view to consider, the viewpoint of each of the two characters, that of the playwright and that of the reader. ADDRESSER 1 (Playwright) ADDRESSER 2 (Character A) ADDRESSEE 2 (Character B) ADDRESSEE 1 (Audience / Reader) Message

8 Discourse structure of 1st and 3rd person novels Because novels always have narrators present, as well as authors, readers and characters, they prototypically need three discourse levels in their discourse architecture.

9 Discourse structure of 1st and 3rd person novels Note that the term usually used for the person who the narrator addresses is the 'narratee'.

10 Discourse structure of 1st and 3rd person novels The discourse architecture of 1st-person narration: Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre In Charlotte Brontë's famous novel Jane Eyre, Jane tells the story of what happened in her life from when she was a small girl to her marriage to Mr Rochester at the end of the novel. She is thus a typical 1st-person narrator, a narrator who is a character in her own story. Readers also often feel that she is telling the story to them directly, and indeed at the end of the novel she actually says 'reader, I married him'.

11 The discourse architecture of 1st-person narration: Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre The following is the overall discourse architecture for this novel ADDRESSER 1 (Charlotte Bronte) ADDRESSER 2 (Jane Eyre: narrator) ADDRESSEE 2 (Narratee: ReaderB) ADDRESSEE 1 ( Reader) Message ADDRESSER 2 (Jane Eyre: character) ADDRESSEE 2 (Mr Rochester) Message

12 The discourse architecture of 3rd- person narration 1st-person narrators tell their own tale, and so use the 1st-person pronoun when referring to themselves. But there is another very common form of narration where all the characters are referred to in the 3rd person. These narrations will seem much more 'objective' than 1st-person narrations because they are not automatically attached to the viewpoint of a particular character.

13 The discourse architecture of 3rd- person narration Indeed, with 3rd-person narrators there is a strong tendency for readers to collapse together levels 1 and 2 on the left-hand side of the discourse structure diagram and assume that the narrator and the author are really the same person. This leads to the idea that 3rd-person narrators are omniscient. They know everything and can take us inside the mind of any character if they so wish.

14 Discourse Structure and Viewpoint Addresser 1 Author Addressee 1 Reader Addresser 2 Narrator Addressee 2 Narratee Addresser 3 Character Addressee 3 Character

15 The discourse architecture of 3rd- person narration In other words, 3rd-person narrators (= authors) know everything and tell the truth, whereas 1st- person narrators (= characters) are notoriously unreliable. The '3rd-person narrator = author' equation appears to be a default reading assumption. But beware: there are some well-known cases where the assumption does not hold. Not all authors invent narrators whose views and attitudes they share!

16 The discourse architecture of 3rd- person narration Even with a 3rd-person narration, it is possible for the narrator to take up a viewpoint that coincides with that of a particular character or characters. Indeed, one if its strengths is that it is possible to adopt the viewpoint of more than one character at different points in a story, whereas the choice of a 1st-person narrator aligns us with that particular narrator-character throughout.

17 Dialogue and Narration Dialogue = when characters speak. Narration = when the narrator speaks. “Quotation marks” separate narration from dialogue. Example “Help” my cousin Jack said. 1 2

18 Identifying Narrative Perspective It's about the narrator (who tells the story) We're not looking at dialogue. We don't care what characters say. Only the narrator's voice matters.

19 Pronoun Case First-PersonI, me, my, mine, we, us, ours, Second-Personyou, your Third-Personhe, she, her, they, them (also character's names) We are trying to figure out the narrator's view point on the story. Perspectives and Signal Words

20 Secret “I am in the room” I = 1 st Person “You come in the room.” You = 2 nd Person “Then he or she came in the room.” He or She = 3 rd Person

21 POINT OF VIEW The term point of view describes the perspective from which an author chooses to present an essay, story, or other piece of writing. There are several points of view that the authors often use. They include: 1.1 st person narrator 2.3 rd person limited 3.3 rd person omniscient

22 Objective Point of View In the objective point of view, the writer tells what happens without stating more than can be inferred from the story’s action and dialogue. The narrator never tells the reader anything about what the character thinks or feels, and remains a detached observer of the story.

23 First-Person Narrator is a part of the story (character). Used when one of the characters tells the story and speaks as I, an eyewitness Look for phrases or sentences with I, me, or my, that show the narrator’s thoughts and feelings. e.g. I went home. Tim came over. I couldn't play.

24 First Person Point of View When reading stories in the first person, you need to realize that what the narrator is recounting might not be the objective truth. You should question the trustworthiness of the narrators account of the events of the story.

25 Third-Person Narrator usually isn’t involved. Tells other's stories. Lots of “He,” “She,” & character names. Three Types of Third-Person Narration Does the narrator tell… Thoughts and Feelings of Characters?

26 Third Person Point of View The narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters think and feel. There are two different types of point of view; Limited and Omniscient. Third person limited - used when we see the story from only one character’s point of view but not first-hand. knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor, has a limited point of view. It is limited to the one character with whom the story is being told through.

27 Third-Person Limited Narrator is limited to one character. Tells thoughts & feelings of one character Example Tim was mad at Shay. He blamed her. Shay just left without saying anything. She left a note and then left him.

28 Third-Person Omniscient Narrator is all knowing. Narrator tells thoughts and feelings of more than one character. Omni = AllScient = Knowing Example Tim was mad at Shay. He blamed her. Shay knew Tim would be mad, but she wanted to live her life.

29 Third-Person Omniscient Look for phrases and sentences that describe the emotions, feelings, and reactions of the characters. You will be able to see if the point of view is limited or omniscient by the range of viewpoints presented.

30 Third-Person Objective Narrator does not reveal any character’s thoughts or feelings. Only character’s dialogue and actions are narrated. Example Tim slammed the door. He walked upstairs & read a note from Shay. He kicked her trash can & started crying.

31 Tips on Identifying Check 1st or 2nd-person before worrying about objective, limited, or omniscient. Ask, “Who’s story is the narrator telling: his, mine, or someone else’s?” Focus on narration not dialogue.

32 Practice 1.Read the following passages. 2.Determine the narrator’s perspective. 3.Write down your answer.

33 1 When I was four months old, my mother died suddenly and my father was left to look after me all by himself… I had no brothers or sisters. So through boyhood, from the age of four months onward, there was just us two, my father and me. We lived in an old gypsy caravan behind a filling station” First-Person

34 2 The huge man dropped his blankets and flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool. The small man stepped behind him. "Lennie!" he said sharply. "Lennie, for God" sakes don’t drink so much." Lennie continued to snort into the pool. The small man leaned over and shook him by the shoulder. "Lennie you gonna be sick like you was last night." Lennie dipped his whole head under, hat and all… "Tha’s good," he said. "You drink some, George." He smiled happily Third-Person Objective

35 4 Harold Davis took a deep breath and slowly started to peel the gauze from the wound on his grandmother’s leg. “Hold on, Grandma. I’m almost done,” He said quietly. “Don’t worry, baby. It doesn’t hurt too much,” she quietly replied. “Just take your time.” Harold glanced up at his grandmother lying on the couch. He could tell she was in pain from the way she gripped the cushions, but still she managed to smile back at him. Third-Person Limited

36 5 They were standing under a tree, each with an arm round the other's neck, and Alice knew which was which in a moment, because one of them had "DUM" embroidered on his collar, and the other "DEE." "I suppose they've each got "TWEEDLE" round at the back of the collar," she said to herself. They stood so still that she quite forgot they were alive, and she was just looking round to see if the word "TWEEDLE" was written at the back of each collar, when she was startled by a voice coming from the one marked "DUM." Third-Person Limited

37 Different kinds of point of view 1. Spatial viewpoint The most basic manifestation of viewpoint has to do with our position in space. Looking at something from one position is different from looking at it from another position. Compare i.'The tiger disappeared into the distance'The tiger disappeared into the distance ii.'The tiger got larger and larger’The tiger got larger and larger Sentence (i) represents a viewing position behind the tiger, with the tiger moving away, and sentence (ii) is from a position in front of the tiger with it moving nearer and nearer to the viewing position. Spatial viewpoint encodes distance (nearer/farther) as well as position in relation to other objects.

38 Different kinds of point of view 2. Temporal viewpoint Refers to the presentation of events in a fictional world from a particular position in time. 'Yesterday, the exam' and 'Tomorrow, the exam' position us 'behind' and 'in front of' the exam. The notion of distance and proximity that pertain in spatial point of view apply metaphorically to temporal view point. Time points can also be nearer or further away from the 'time viewing' position, as well as being on one side or the other of that position. All these spatial metaphors for time indicate that spatial viewpoint is the most basic.

39 Different kinds of point of view 2. Temporal viewpoint Refers to the presentation of events in a fictional world from a particular position in time. 'Yesterday, the exam' and 'Tomorrow, the exam' position us 'behind' and 'in front of' the exam. The notion of distance and proximity that pertain in spatial point of view apply metaphorically to temporal view point. Time points can also be nearer or further away from the 'time viewing' position, as well as being on one side or the other of that position. All these spatial metaphors for time indicate that spatial viewpoint is the most basic.

40 Different kinds of point of view 3. Social viewpoint We can also talk of social viewpoint. We can talk refer to people as being above or below us in status (note the use of spatial metaphors again), and as being close or distant from us (cf. 'sister' and 'step-sister', or 'mother' and 'mother-in-law').

41 Different kinds of point of view 4. Personal / ideological viewpoint Whatever their social status, we can look down on, or up to the opinions of others (cf. the spatial metaphors again!), depending upon whether we agree or disagree with their personal or socio-political views. If someone in an organisation makes public what they see as some wrongdoing, they might be seen as a dreadful 'traitor' or a benign 'whistle blower', which likens them to a referee in a football match.

42 Different kinds of point of view 5. Conceptual viewpoint Sometimes the representation of a viewpoint can be so different from ours that it represents a different way of conceptualising the world we live in. If a small child calls all male adults 'daddy', it is because he has not yet properly made the conceptual distinction between his father and other male adults. In other words, his conceptual viewpoint is different from ours. A good example of conceptual viewpoint in a poem is Craig Raine's 'A Martian Sends a Postcard Home', where a Martian visiting Earth refers to what are ordinary objects for us in very different terms. So books, for example, are described as 'mechanical birds'. For us the Martian has completely misunderstood what books are because of his conceptual viewpoint. We can see how he has done it, because half-open books do look a bit like large birds in flight, but we can also see that he has a completely different conceptualisation of the world from us.

43 Different kinds of point of view 5. Attitudinal viewpoint Someone's viewpoint can also apply to how they feel about something, or what their attitude to it is. Consider the quotation below from a short story by D. H. Lawrence. Fanny is an educated woman who had left her village and the working class man she would otherwise have had to marry, in order to become a governess. Now her job has come to an end because her charge has now grown up, she is forced to return to the village to marry Harry, something which she appears very unwilling to do. She opened the door of her grimy branch-line carriage, and began to get down her bags (1). The porter was nowhere, of course, but there was Harry (2). There, on the sordid little station under the furnaces, she stood, tall and distinguished, in her well-made coat and skirt and her broad grey velour hat (3).

44 Different kinds of point of view 5. Attitudinal viewpoint She opened the door of her grimy branch-line carriage, and began to get down her bags (1). The porter was nowhere, of course, but there was Harry (2). There, on the sordid little station under the furnaces, she stood, tall and distinguished, in her well-made coat and skirt and her broad grey velour hat (3). The adjectives concerning the carriage of the train and the railway station are not just descriptive. They also have connotations which suggest disapproval on the part of the narrator and the character Fanny, from whose viewpoint the scene is surveyed. The external description of Fanny herself is, by contrast, approving in terms of the adjectives used. She appears to be a cut above her surroundings. The use of the distal deictic 'there' being used not just to suggest physical apartness from the perceiver, but also an analogical attitudinal distance. Harry is being coded in the same was as the unpleasant surroundings.

45 Different kinds of point of view Find out about psychological viewpoint. You will present/discuss this tomorrow Please read: 26-30, 77-80, 123-130


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