How would Animal Farm differ if the story was told from the perspective of Boxer?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Point of view is very important to a story.  Animal Farm is told from the perspective of an anonymous unnamed narrator.  The key to thinking about narration is that there are three types of narrators.

Third person omniscient- Third person provides distance for the reader, and omniscient third person gives us access to every character.  An unknown narrator sort of floats over the story, and is “all-knowing” and knows almost everything that’s going on.  This is the point of view of the story currently.  We know a little but about what almost everyone is thinking.  This means we know the pigs’ machinations and what the people are doing.  We get a bird’s eye view of the action.

Third person limited - This gives us one character’s perspective, but a little removed from the action.  Instead of using “I” boxer would say “Boxer” when referring to himself.  It’s like being inside one character’s head, but still as only a narrator and not a character in the story.  We know almost everything one character is thinking and feeling.  It is very similar to first person.

First person - First person narration is when the main character is telling the story, and the person is giving his or her perspective.  This form of narrative is limited because we only see things through his or her eyes.  The advantage is that we get a lot of information about one character, and his thoughts and feelings.

If the story was told from Boxer’s point of view, it might be either first person or third person limited.  If it was first person, we would know what Boxer was thinking and feeling, but not the pigs.  Since Boxer is somewhat simple and naive, chances are we would actually get very little of the real story.  Everything we learned would be filtered through Boxer.

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