What is point of view in a novel?  

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In addressing the question of point of view, I think that one has to analyze several components of a given work.  One elemental way where point of view can be determined is to examine how the story is being told.  If it is told in a third person point of view, there is a narrator who is leading the reader into what is transpiring in the text.  When the narrator is using third person pronouns such as "he, " or "she" or "they" or "them," you might be looking at a third person point of view.  If a narration point of view is in the first person of view, pronouns such as "I" or "me."  This personalized point of view makes it first person.  When you are attempting to figure out the point of view in a story, examine the pronouns being used and this might be able to give a good indication of the point of narration view.

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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A novel is a work of fiction, telling a story, or rather conveying a plot. The 'point-of-view' refers to the mode in which the story is told, or the plot is conveyed. In any 'tale' there must be a 'teller'. The method adopted by the 'teller' is the narrative mode which is the novel's 'point-of-view'.

If the plot is conveyed by a narrator as 'I' (or 'we') who is also a character in the novel, it is called the 'First Person Point-of-view'. In an autobiographical novel, such as Dickens's 'David Copperfield', the first person narrator is the authorial identity in the plot.

If the narrator addresses another character in the novel as 'you', it would be the 'Second Person Point-of-view', as in Jay McInerney's novel, 'Bright Lights, Big City'.

The most frequently used mode in fiction is the 'Third Person Point-of-view' in which the narrator refers to all other personages as he/she/they. There are variations within the third person narrative frame, such as omniscient/limited omniscient/obtrusive/unobtrusive depending upon the specific nature of the narrator's involvement and/jurisdiction in conveying the novel's plot.

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