Presentation on theme: "ENG 404: AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION UNIT I: GENRE STUDY - FICTION Chapter 5: Point of View."— Presentation transcript:
ENG 404: AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION UNIT I: GENRE STUDY - FICTION Chapter 5: Point of View
THE POSITION OR STANCE OF THE WORK’S NARRATOR OR SPEAKER Point of View
Refers to the speaker, narrator, persona, or voice created by authors to Tell stories Present arguments Express attitudes and judgments Conditions that affect point of view The physical situation of the narrator, or speaker, as an observer The speaker’s intellectual and emotional position Acts as centralizing or guiding intelligence in a work by filtering the fictional experience and presenting only the most important details for maximum impact
Determining Point of View: 1 st Person Narrator tells about events he/she has personally witnessed May acquire knowledge in a number of ways What they themselves have done, said, heard, and thought (firsthand experience) What they have observed others doing and saying (firsthand witness) What others have said to them or otherwise communicated to them (secondhand testimony and hearsay) What they are able to infer or deduce from the information they have discovered (inferential information) What they are able to conjecture about how a character might think or act, given their knowledge of a situation (conjectural, imaginative, or intuitive information)
Determining Point of View: 1 st Person There are many different kinds of first-person speakers May have a unique identity (as a character = persona) May be anonymous (not identifiable as a character), but still independent speaker May include a variety of characters Some first-person speakers are reliable, and others are unreliable Unreliable speakers may have interests or limitations that lead them to mislead, distort, or even lie
Determining Point of View: 2 nd Person Narrator is speaking to someone else who is addressed as “you” Least common point of view Offers the writer two major possibilities A narrator tells a listener what he has done and said at a past time (may be considered first-person rather than second) A narrator seems to be addressing a “you” but is actually referring mainly to herself (listener is referred to only tangentially)
Determining Point of View: 3 rd Person Speaker emphasizes the actions and speeches of others Usually describes events in the third person (he, she, it, they) May employ a distinct authorial voice Voice or persona used by authors when seemingly speaking for themselves May use “I” in referring to the author/narrator, even though it is a third-person narration
Determining Point of View: 3 rd Person Dramatic (third-person objective point of view) Most basic method of narration Narrator is an unidentified speaker Limited only to what is said and what happens Narrator does not draw conclusions or make interpretations Analogous to a video camera or “fly on the wall” Omniscient (all-knowing) point of view Narrator can see all and potentially can disclose all Speaker presents action and dialogue, as well as what goes on in the minds of characters (ex. responses, thoughts, feelings, and plans) Additional information aids in development of characters
Determining Point of View: 3 rd Person Limited third person point of view Also called limited-omniscient third person Narrator or speaker focuses on thoughts and deeds of a major character Limits the narration to focus on one character Point-of-view character = central character on whom the third-person omniscient point of view is focused All details included in narrative are there because the point-of-view character sees, hears, responds to, thinks about, imagines, does, shares in, tries to control, or is controlled by them
Additional Notes: Mingling Points of View Sometimes, authors mingle points of view in order to Imitate reality Sustain interest Create suspense Put the burden of response entirely upon readers
NOTES ON POINT OF VIEW GENERAL STRATEGIES QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER ORGANIZING YOUR ESSAY Writing about Point of View
Notes on Point of View In the first person point of view, the narrator tells about events he/she has personally witnessed In the second person point of view, the narrator is speaking to someone else who is called “you” and who may or may not be the major character in the action In the third person point of view, the speaker is usually anonymous and not intrusive, and this speaker emphasizes the actions and speeches of others
General Strategies Goal: explain how point of view contributes to making the work exactly as it is In prewriting, consider the following Language Authority Opportunity for observation Involvement or detachment of the speaker Selection of detail Interpretive commentaries Narrative development
Questions to Consider – General How is the narration made to seem real or probable? Are actions and speeches reported authentically? Is the narrator identifiable? What are the narrator’s qualifications as an observer? How much of the story seems to result from the imaginative or creative powers of the narrator? How does the narrator perceive the time of the actions? If past tense, what relationship does the speaker establish between the pas and the present? If present tense, what effect does this tense have on your understanding of the story? To what extent does the point of view make the work interesting and effective, or uninteresting and ineffective?
Questions to Consider – 1 st Person POV What is the speaker’s background? What situation prompts him/her to tell the story? Is the speaker talking to the reader, a listener, or himself? How does his audience affect what he says? Is the level of language appropriate? How much does he tell about himself? To what degree is the narrator involved in the action? Does she make herself the center of things? Does she seem aware of changes that she undergoes? Does the speaker criticize other characters? Does he seem to report fairly and accurately what others have told him? How reliable is the speaker? Does the speaker seem to have anything to hide? Does it seem that she may be using the story for self-justification or exoneration? What effect does this complexity have on the story?
Questions to Consider – 2 nd Person POV What is the situation that prompts the use of the second person? How does the speaker acquire the authority to explain things to the listener? How directly involved is the listener? If the listeners are indefinite, why does the speaker choose to use “you” as the basis of narration?
Questions to Consider – 3 rd Person POV Does the author seem to be speaking in an authorial voice, or has the author adopted a special but unnamed voice for the work? What is the speaker’s level of language? Are actions, speeches, and explanations made fully or sparsely? From what apparent vantage point does the speaker report action and speeches? Does this vantage point make the characters seem distant or close? How much sympathy does the speaker express for the characters?
Questions to Consider – 3 rd Person POV To what degree is your interest centered on a particular character? Does the speaker give you the thoughts and responses of this character (limited third person)? If the work is third-person omniscient, how extensive is the omniscience? Generally, what limitations or freedoms can be attributed to this point of view? What special kinds of knowledge does the narrator assume that the listeners or readers possess?
Organizing Your Essay on POV Introduction Begin by briefly stating the major influence of the point of view on the work E.g. “The omniscient point of view permits many insights into the major character.” Body Try considering the effects of alternative points of view to build your argument about the author’s choices. Conclusion Evaluate the success of the point of view
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