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Understand Narrator, Voice, and Persona
Standard Reading Literature 3.9 –Explain how voice, persona, and the choice of narrator affect characterization and the tone, plot, and credibility of a text.
Review Characterization –What the narrator says about the character –What the character says about him or her self –What the other subordinate or lesser characters say about him or her –The character’s actions
Definitions Author - A writer of a book, article, or report Vs. Speaker - A person who delivers a speech or lecture; also used to describe the narrator in a poem Narrator - A person who tells a story; in literature, the voice that an author takes on to tell a story Persona - The person created by the author to tell a story
Narrator First Person: a character within the story who identifies him or herself as “I.” The reader sees the world from this character’s point of view and learns only what he or she chooses to tell us
Narrator continued Third person: a narrator who is outside the action –Limited: the narrator focuses on one character and reveals all of his or her thoughts and emotions –Omniscient: the narrator knows all the thoughts and feelings of every character involved in the story
Narrator continued The choice of narrator affects how much readers learn about characters and events and in the story how reliable that information is. –For example: If the narrator is a young child who is a character in the story, you as the reader see the world through this child’s eyes and hers this child’s interpretation of events.
Persona Persona: the person created by the author to tell a story The narrator has a believable voice or way of speaking to the reader that reveals his or her character –Ex: an angry youth, a wise elderly woman
Persona Continued Whether the story is told by an omniscient narrator or by a character in it, the actual author of the work often distances himself from what is said or told by adopting a persona – a personality different from his real one. Thus, the attitudes, beliefs, and degree of understanding expressed by the narrator may not be the same as those of the actual author. Some authors, for example, use narrators who are not very bright in order to create irony.
Tone Tone: the way the voice sounds (happy, romantic, nostalgic, etc.) as it addresses the reader in the story
Activity 1.Identify the author. 2.Identify the narrator. 3.What type of narrator is being used? 4.Has the author created a realistic person for the narrator? Explain. 5.Is the narrator reliable? Explain. 6.What effect does the narrator have on the plot?
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