What is first person point of view?What is the definition?

Expert Answers
lizbv eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First person point of view describes the perspective from which the story is told.  This implies that the narrator is a character within the story and is describing the events as they occur to him or her.  One of the identifying elements of first person point of view you will find is that the narration is often told as the experience of that one narrating character, therefore the word "I" will often be used during the narration. Be careful not to confuse this with any use of the word "I" in the dialogue! Dialogue is basically quoting any character, so any character could use "I".  The example below demonstrates how the narration could include "I" to show that it is told in first person point of view:

I looked around the room at the many objects that surrounded me, foreign yet familiar also. It was then I noticed the man standing in the room.                                                                                                                            "I am sorry if I frightened you," replied the stranger.

In the above example, even though the stranger uses the word "I", it is within a quote. Therefore, the other speaker is the narrator presenting first person point of view because the narration is from their perspective.

opalwrites eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story is being told from the "I" voice, a singular narrator, usually the protagonist, who tells the story from her/his perspective using I, or me. This point of view can be limited, and often does not allow readers to learn about the interior motives of the other characters. If the "I" voice is not credible, then the story suffers.

First person point of view is often used in autobiography ( a story about one's life) or memoir ( a story about a specific aspect or period of one's life).

Poignant examples of first person point of view are: Richard Wright's American Hunger and Audre Lorde's The Cancer Journals. More recently, Edwidge Danticat's memoir, Brother, I's Dying, is a moving tribute to her father and uncle.

The first point of view, the "I" voice, is a powerful place from which to tell one's story with candor, and speak one's truth.

muzhdah | Student

What they said...


crystaltu001 | Student

The first person point of view is when you are talking as yourself, as, "I." It is in your point of view and is written that way. Some examples are included in the following:

  • I got up early in the morning as this is my routine.
  • By the time I got to the end of the hallway, my younger brother had already claimed the only bathroom.
maria-vivanco | Student

First person point of view is when. A story is told from one character using the "I" pronoun. The narration gives insight to what the character is thinking and doesn't show what the other characters are thinking and their thoughts are expressed through dialogue. 

lit24 | Student

The first person method of narration is the technique by which  a novelist employs one character to tell the story. The readers read the story from the perspective of this narrator.

The first person method of narration, can be either 'written' as for instance Emily Bronte's  "Wuthering Heights" or spoken like Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms."

The events can be narrated by the first person narrator either using the 'present tense' or the 'past tense.'

The first person narrator can be a participant in the events of the story he narrates or  he can be 'outside' that is, he can narrate events in which he was not involved.