What is the point of view in "The Cop and the Anthem"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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While the elevated style of O. Henry's narrator is imitative of the former gentleman, Soapy, and lends irony to the story of a homeless man who seeks shelter for the winter, the point of view is omniscient narrator because this narrator knows what the characters are thinking and feeling. For instance, O. Henry's omniscient narrator reveals what law enformcement feels after Soapy breaks a store window, "The policeman's mind refused to accept Soapy even as a clue" when Soapy admits to having thrown the rock through a store window.  After this, the all-knowing narrator continues,   

Five blocks Soapy travelled before his courage permitted him to woo capture again. This time the opportunity presented what he fatuously termed to himself a "clinch."

So, while Soapy connives and manipulates whomever he can or whatever situation possible, he fails at all his attempts. Therefore, the narrator tells the readers, he resolves to "pull himself" up again after hearing "an anthem"; for he is moved, and seeks to redeem himself by resurrecting his old goals and become a better man, a gentle man of ambition with "immaculate thoughts" who is "somebody in the world."

Certainly, the use of the omniscient narrator lends a certain sympathy for Soapy, whose heart is opened to readers through the knowledge of this narrator tries so hard to find a warm home for himself in the forthcoming months.  

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