POINT OF VIEW
• Two cars have just gotten into an accident.
The wreckage is apparent. There is a
sixteen-year-old female sitting beside her
smashed up BMW. Beside her a confused
eighty-five year old man steps out of his
Buick Sentry. Neither is accepting the
blame. You, a reporter, are the first to arrive
on the scene. With a partner brainstorm a
list of potential interviewees and stories that
might explain the evidence.
Car Accident cont…
• Just as you might have discovered from
the activity, there are several different
perspectives from which a story could be
• For example, the driver of the BMW, the
driver of the Buick Sentry, any witnesses
to the scene, and/or the police officer sent
to report the crime are all potential
perspectives to consider.
I’ll Knock Your House Down…
• Remember the story of The Three Little Pigs?
Who can recount the story for the entire
• Now raise your hand if you remember The
True Story of The Three Little Pigs. Who can
recount the story for the entire class?
He Huffed and He Puffed and…
• From which perspective
was each story written?
• How does perspective
influence the story being
• How does this relate to
stories that we read in
Let’s Get to the “Point”
• In much the same way, writers use
different points of view to tell their stories.
• There are three primary types in literature:
– First person
– Third person limited
– Third person omniscient
First Person Point of View
• In first person the
narrator is part of the
• They recount events
• They use “I” and
Third Person Limited
• In third person limited point of view the
narrator is NOT part of the story.
• They use pronouns such as “they” and
“he” and “she.”
• They CAN only see inside the thoughts
and attitudes of ONE or a LIMITED
number of characters.
Third Person Omniscient
• In third person omniscient point of view, the
narrator is NOT a part of the story.
• They use pronouns such as “he,” “she,” and
• They CAN see inside the thoughts and
attitudes of ALL characters because they are
What happened to second person?
• Occasionally an author will employ second
person point of view. However, this is a rarity.
• In these cases, “you” is used as the narrator
literally speaks to the reader.
• An example of second-person would be a
Choose Your Own Adventure story.
Let’s Try it Out!
• Read the following examples and
determine whether first, second,
third person limited or omniscient
are being used.
• "I could picture it. I have a rotten
habit of [wondering about] my
friends. We went out to the Cafe
Napolitain to have an aperitif and
watch the evening crowd on the
Boulevard" (Hemingway,The Sun
• "Decide that you like college life. In your dorm
you meet many nice people. Some are smarter
than you. And some, you notice, are dumber
than you. You will continue, unfortunately, to
view the world in exactly these terms for the
rest of your life" (Moore, “How to Become a
• Murgatroyd met
Madeline on New Year's
Eve in 2002. He went to
a party and she opened
the door. Her hair! Only
a goddess could have
hair so fine.
• Murgatroyd met Madeline
on New Year's Eve in
2002. He went to a party
and she opened the door.
Her hair! Only a goddess
could have hair so fine.
Madeline could not help
thinking about him from
the moment she saw him.
His charming character
drew her to follow him
around the room.
• If you put them in order, you were right.
– First Person
– Second Person
– Third Person Limited
– Third Person Omniscient