He-y, Come On Ou-t!

by Shinichi Hoshi

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What point of view is used in the story "He-y, Come On Ou-t" by Shinichi Hoshi?

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The point of view employed by this story is third-person omniscient. This means that the narrator is not a participant in the events that take place and does not use the first person pronoun "I" or first person plural pronoun "we." Further, this means that the narrator knows, and can report to us, the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters in the story. Although at first the story may seem to be written from a third-person objective point of view, where the narrator does not report the thoughts and feelings of any of the characters, the narrator slowly begins to reveal how characters are feeling and what they are thinking.

The narrator says that "In his own mind, the scientist was at a loss." The scientist who has come to look at the hole where the shrine used to be cannot understand why there is no echo and why the people cannot figure out the depth of the hole. He appears with "apparent composure" to everyone else, but within his own mind, he is completely unsure about the hole's properties. Next, we learn that the onlookers are "disappointed" that the hole is about to be filled in, another instance where the narrator knows someone's thoughts. Later, after the people have been using the hole as a place to get rid of anything they no longer want—classified documents, nuclear waste, material evidence of a crime they committed—the narrator says, "The hole gave peace of mind to the dwellers of the city." Again, the narrator reports the thoughts and feelings of characters, and so we see that the narrator is omniscient.

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