Identifying the Elements of Literature: Narration/Point of View Student Notes English I Mrs. Nagy Narration (definition) Narration is the act of narrating or telling a
story. Narrating can be done in writing or in speaking form (oral storytelling). It sounds simple enough, but there are actually several different ways stories can be narrated. Sometimes called point of view Also referred to as narrative perspective The Narrator The narrator is the person or other character who is telling us the story. The lens through which we see the story. Often, it is very clear who the narrator is.
Sometimes, it is not. There can even be more than 1 narrator in a single story. Types of Narration Also known as Point of View 1st Person Story is told from a particular characters point of view, as they are experiecing it themself. Uses 1st person pronouns (I, me, we, us). Narrator uses these pronouns to specifically reference him or herself. Do not get the point of view of other characters. When you write a story about yourself, you use 1st person.
Stories in 1st person might be true stories (someone writing about their own life or experiences), but they can also be fiction (made up). You can have multiple 1st person narrators in one story. Example of 1 Person Narration/Point of View st Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. From Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
Types of Narration Also known as Point of View 2nd Person Uses the pronouns you, your, yours to address the reader directly. Rarely appears in fiction. Most often used in speeches, letters, or nonfiction (like informational reading). Example: You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. Youre on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy wholl decide where to go.
From Oh! The Places Youll Go! (Dr. Seuss) Types of Narration Also known as Point of View 3rd person Tells the story using 3rd person pronouns (their, he, she). The story may still be from one characters perspective, they just wont be using I or me. Or the story may be from multiple characters perspectives. Yet still, the story may be from a sort of anonymous or unknown perspective. Example: The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear
was that somebody would discover it. They didnt think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters. Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley's sister, but they hadn't met for several years; in fact, Mrs. Dursley pretended she didn't have a sister, because her sister and her goodfor-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be. From Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (J.K. Rowling) Types of 3 Person POV rd 3rd Person Limited - a method of storytelling in which the narrator knows only the thoughts and feelings of a single character, while other characters are presented only externally.
Still does not use I or me. Gives the writer more freedom than in 1st person, but not as much as the next type of narration we will look at. Examle of 3 Person Limited rd Ouch! That hurt," Karen yelled. Jan glanced back and grinned. "Oh, I'm sorry, was that your foot?" Karen glared at Jan's back as she sauntered off into the distance, laughing
maniacally. Karen decided that Jan would pay for defiling the pristine newness of her sneakers. Types of 3 Person POV rd 3rd Person Omnicient The narrator knows all and can see all. Can interpret things through any characters lens Will tell thoughts and feelings of multiple characters May switch back and forth seamlessly between characters
Example of 3rd Person Omnicient Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. "Out to the hoghouse," replied Mrs. Arable. "Some pigs were born last night." "I don't see why he needs an ax," continued Fern, who was only eight. "Well," said her mother, "one of the pigs is a runt. It's very small and weak, and it will never amount to anything. So your father has decided to do away with it." "Do away with it?" shrieked Fern. "You mean kill it?" Fern pushed a chair out of the way and ran outdoors. The grass was wet and the earth smelled of springtime. Fern's sneakers were sopping by the time she caught up with her father. "Please don't kill it!" she sobbed. "It's unfair."
3rd Person Omnicient Example Cotinued Mr. Arable stopped walking. "Fern," he said gently, "you will have to learn to control yourself." "Control myself?" yelled Fern. "This is a matter of life and death, and you talk about controlling myself." Tears ran down her cheeks and she took hold of the ax and tried to pull it out of her father's hand. When Mr. Arable returned to the house half an hour later, he carried a carton under his arm. Fern was upstairs changing her sneakers. The kitchen table was set for breakfast, and the room smelled of coffee, bacon, damp plaster, and wood smoke from the stove. "Put it on her chair!" said Mrs. Arable. Mr. Arable set the carton down at Fern's place. Then he walked to the sink and washed his hands
and dried them on the roller towel. From Charlottes Web (E.B. White) Types of 3 Person POV rd 3rd Person Objective The narrator tells a third-persons story (he, she, him, her), but the narrator only describes characters behavior and dialogue. The narrator does not reveal any characters thoughts or feelings. Again, readers will be able to understand characters thoughts and motivations based on
characters actions and dialogue, which are narrated; however, the narrator will not explicitly reveal characters thoughts and/or motivations in narration. Example: 3 Person Objective rd Example: The minister bends to kneel as his niece, Abigail, seventeen, enters. She is a strikingly beautiful girl, an orphan, but with a sense of mischief about her. Now, she is all worry and apprehension. From The Crucible (Arthur Miller)
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