What is second person point of view? I know first and third person point of view. Is there a second?

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There must be a reason why the second-person point of view is so rarely used in fiction. It must have something to do with the fact that the author doesn't really know you and therefore can't know how much you will accept. Otherwise, it would be a great way to tell a story, because the reader identifies with one of the characters if the story is written in the first person or the third person and theoretically should identify with the second person even more. It occurs to me that the reader wants a certain distance from the character as well as a certain closeness. If Tarzan has to wrestle a 500-pound gorilla I am rooting for Tarzan, but I don't want to fight that 500-pound gorilla myself. I believe this is an example of what is called "aesthetic distance." For example, if we are to appreciate a statue as a work of art we must be aware that it not a real person but a statue. If it were to look exactly like a real person we would not appreciate it as a work of art. That seems to be the case with mannequins in stores if they are really lifelike. 

I recently came across a good example of second-person narration in O. Henry's short story "The Green Door." Only the first paragraphs use the second person and then O. Henry reverts to third-person omniscient. Here is a sample from the story:

SUPPOSE YOU SHOULD be walking down Broadway after dinner, with ten minutes allotted to the consummationof your cigar while you are choosing between a diverting tragedy and something serious in the way of vaudeville. Suddenly a hand is laid upon your arm. You turn to look into the thrilling eyes of a beautiful woman, wonderful in diamonds and Russian sablesShe thrusts hurriedly into your hand an extremely hot buttered roll, flashes out a tiny pair of scissors, snips off the second button of your overcoat, meaningly ejaculates the one word, “parallelogram!” and swiftly flies down a cross street,looking back fearfully over her shoulder.

The whole text of "The Green Door" is accessible on eNotes via "The Best of O. Henry." 

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Here's another example of 2nd person POV, taken straight from a student's persuasive essay...which was, of course, supposed to be written in 3rd person:

You might ask yourself, "Is there reputable research on the existence of extra-terrestrial life?" You could research it yourself, check out a few websites, or you could just read this essay...

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A second person point of view is a story that is told from the perspective of "you." It is much less common than first and third. Do you remember children's books like the "Animorphs" series or the "Choose Your Own Adventure" tales? They went something like this: "You turn and standing there before you is a wolf. You have to decide to approach it or run away."

Here's a handy key for you:

First person: I
Second person : You
Thrid Person: He, She, They

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