Presentation on theme: "POINT OF VIEW AND IRONY. What is the difference between a first-person narrator and a third-person narrator? As readers, we must know how a story."— Presentation transcript:
What is the difference between a first-person narrator and a third-person narrator? As readers, we must know how a story is told so that we can start to understand how much we can trust the narrator and how much we can believe that the narrator is telling us, the reader, the truth.
There are two main limits of first-person narration: A first-person narrator is an inside narrator, meaning that the reader can know all the thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, etc. of the narrator. While this helps the reader know the narrator better, it also means that the reader doesn’t have this same information about all the other characters. Since the reader doesn’t know everything about everyone, it might be hard to accurately determine who is “good” and “bad.”
A first-person narrator may be unreliable, meaning that the reader can’t trust the narrator to tell the truth. If the reader is told lies by the narrator, it might be hard to determine what is “really going on.”
In most stories, a first-person narrator is reliable, but he or she might not always know all the facts. Other times, a first-person narrator is unreliable. Though this happens, it is quite rare. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was later turned into a play and then an Academy Award-winning movie, the narrator suffers from schizophrenia. In the story, the narrator refers to other characters as growing or shrinking, walls oozing with slime, and nurses kidnapping Santa Clause in order to “cure” him.
There are also limits to third-person narration. A third-person narrator may be restricted, or limited, in what he or she knows. Just like a first-person narrator might be biased because he only knows his side of the story, a third-person narrator might only know one character’s side of the story and could be biased in the same way. Sometimes, a third-person narrator will know everyone’s thoughts and feelings, so the narrator would be much less biased. This type of narrator would be omniscient, meaning “all knowing.”
Pretend you meet a friend after school and all she does is complain about how evil her mom is and all the mean things her mom does. Now pretend later that day, after your friend has left, you tell these stories to your older sister. Would you be a third- person limited narrator or a third-person omniscient narrator?
Would the narrator in “Harrison Bergeron” be a first-person narrator or a third-person narrator? Is the narrator limited in any way?
Irony is the difference between what someone expects to happen and what actually does happen. We usually divide irony into three main categories: verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony.
Verbal irony occurs when there is a contrast between what is said and what is really meant. Examples: Suppose a friend falls down the stairs, and you ask him if he is hurt. He responds, “I’m fine. The ground is as soft as concrete.” Steve sees that he earned a poor grade on his test and is disappointed in himself. Jared, who sits next to him, looks over and says, “Wow, way to go, Einstein.”
Situational irony occurs when what happens is very different from what someone expects to happen. Examples: Suppose a race-car driver survives a horrible accident without any injuries. However, when he gets home, he trips on a cord and breaks his arm. Suppose your neighbor spends all day trying to fix his refrigerator because it is broken. After working on it for four hours, he realizes that it has simply been unplugged the whole time.
Dramatic irony occurs when the audience or reader knows something that a character does not know. Examples: In The Lion King, Simba runs away from home because he thinks he is responsible for his dad’s death. However, the viewer knows that Scar is really the one who killed Mufasa. In most scary movies, the audience knows something bad is about to happen to a character, but the character does not know this (for example, the viewer might know that a bad guy is hiding in the closet). Dramatic irony helps to build suspense and excitement for the reader/viewer.
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