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cybil eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Point of view is the perspective or angle from which a story is told. The narrator may be using a pronoun like "I," indicating a first-person narrator, typically a character in the story, telling about events in which he was probably involved. This point of view has the advantage of being more believable because the character, whether a major, minor, or merely a witness, actually experienced the events.

If the narrator, on the other hand, is not part of the action but merely observes what's going on, he or she may use pronouns like "he,""she," or "they" to refer to characters. This detached perspective may come from a narrator who is not a character at all in the story, merely a voice created by the author to tell the story. This point of view is called third-person.

Two other terms used to describe point of view are omniscient and limited omniscient. An omniscient narrator can tell what all of the characters are saying, doing, and thinking. A limited omniscient narrator, however, can reveal only what other characters are doing and saying, not their thoughts.

tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a literary device, "point of view" or perspective can be determined by the author's (or character's) judgment or opinion on a specific topic or theme. However, point of view can also be analyzed by time and space.  Time and space are closely related to the setting of a story or poem, but they also influence one's perspective. For example, a character living in the 1800s wouldn't know anything about our technology, so the things s/he says and does will be based on that criteria.

If you have an assignment to analyze the point of view of a certain character, consider exactly what the directions say so you can answer correctly.  Is the assignment asking you what a character's point of view of a certain issues is? Or does the assignment have to do with the position in which the character finds himself/herself?

Another way of looking at it would be to put yourself in the shoes of the character or author and show that you can understand their position in whatever is going on.


epollock | Student

The point of view is dramatic from paragraphs 1 to 20. It changes when Seeger goes into Captain Taney’s tent, where it becomes limited to Seeger. Once Seeger leaves the tent (paragraph 58), the viewpoint goes back again to the dramatic, but it shifts back to the limited at paragraph 90, when Seeger receives his father’s letter. It remains limited to Seeger after this point, when the issue of anti-Semitism becomes the story’s major focus. This changing point of view allows the reader into the mind of a character only when it is necessary to understand his motivation. Once it can be easily understood, the point of view changed back to a dramatic mode.

mkcapen1 | Student

The book In the Time of Butterflies uses the first Person Point-of-View.  The book begins with a woman named Dede telling the story of what she is experiencing and then going on a journey into the past where she tells a visitor the story of the Mirabel sisters. 

There are four narrators through-out the book and they are the sisters.  Dede is the sister who survives and people visit her to hear the story of the sisters.  Minerva tells her story about how she came to be involved in the underground movement.  Mate is the youngest and she has a diary which she writes her story into as the reader reads the words.

The fourth sister Patria expresses herself and her worries and tells the story of what is occurring from her perspective.


xxheronxx | Student

The point of view in In The Time Of The Butterflies is first person, but the narrator changes in each chapter. The book is told by the Mirabal sisters, and each chapter is seen through a different sisters' point of view.