The Grave Questions and Answers
by Katherine Anne Porter

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Why is the point of view in "The Grave" third-person?

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In general, the third-person point of view is used to objectively look on or over and speak for the characters in the story. Porter uses this technique in "The Grave" to illustrate the experiences of generations of family members throughout several years. She begins with the grandfather's body being moved around by the grandmother to their final resting place; they are both dead and thus cannot speak for themselves. The third-person point of view allows the narrator to go on to describe an incident between the grandchildren, Miranda and Paul, of said grandparents, and the grandparents' empty graves. The narrator is able to pop in and out of the children's minds and quote their dialogue to describe their unbiased intrigue at finding empty graves filled with treasures. The narrator is then able to focus on how that incident impacts Miranda later in her life. The third person point of view opens the scope of the narrative so as to enable to reader to see beyond one character's perspective.

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