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In literature, what is the author's point of veiw?

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caitlind21 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM via web

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In literature, what is the author's point of veiw?

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted October 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM (Answer #1)

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You don't specify a particular piece of literature, so I will answer this in more general terms. Point of view is most commonly used with regard to characters or people in pieces of writing. The three most common points of view are: first person, second person, and third person. Third person is most commonly third person limited or third person omniscient.

A first person narrator is a character in the piece, and he or she will refer to me, my, mine, us, we, and etc. Since the first person narrator is only giving us his or her perspective, the are unreliable narrators. You have to question this point of view more closely than the others.

A second person point of view will use you and yours. This is most frequently the point of view used in technical or instructional material. Although, it might occasionally be used in other genres for a specific effect.

Third person limited is a narrator looking in at the characters. He or she will know all of the thoughts, feelings, motivations, and etc. of one character.

Third person omniscient, is a narrator looking in at the characters, but he or she will know all ofthe thoughts, feelings, motivations, and etc. of all the characters.

I say all of that to clarify the difference between point of view and perspective because what you might really be asking is about author perspective. You cannot assume that sense the author wrote it that he or she is a character or is reflected in a character in the story. The author's perspective is his or her opinions and attitude about a topic.The author would then use point of view in writing to convey his or her perspective. This might be done through the connotation of specific word choice, the way he or she has characters talk and respond to different situations, specific events or actions that take place in a story, and etc. Additionally, author perspective and tone of the writing are closely connected.

eNotes has some interesting information on this and other topics.

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