Canadian Short Fiction

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What is the point of view in "Do Seek Their Meat from God", "The Desjardins", and "From Flores"?

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Point of view is the way the author lets the reader follow the story.  Through the point of view, the writer can fix the reader’s attention on what he wants him to focus on in the story.

Point of view comes in distinctive types in literature.

  • First person when a character narrates the story.
  • Third person tells the story from an outside looking at the action.
  • Third person omniscient relates the story giving the thoughts of every character.
  • Third person limited omniscient expresses the story entering into only one character’s mind.

Most writers choose the third person point of view. The point of view impacts how the reader responds to the story and its characters.

What is the point of view of the following stories: “Do Seek Their Meat from God” by Charles D. Roberts; “The Desjardins” by Duncan Campbell Scott; and “From Flores” by Ethel Wilson.

“Do Seek Their Meat from God”---This story’s point of view is third person omniscient.  The narrator lets the reader see into the actions and thoughts of the characters.  The story describes two panthers that search for food for their cubs.  They discover a child all alone in an abandoned cabin.

“They [panthers] were not ferocious with any anticipation of battle, for they knew the voice was a child, and something in the voice told them the child was solitary. Theirs was not hideous rage…”

Just as they are going to kill the child, the father of the child shoots both of the cats.  The author included insight into the thought process of even the panthers whose cubs die as well when their parents do not come back. The narrator provides the action through his somewhat sympathetic outlook toward all of the characters.

“The Desjardins”---This story’s point of view is third person omniscient. The narrator provides some insight into the characters’ of the sons. Three children survive their wealthy father’s death.  Insanity is in the family.  They wait for one of them to become mad.  Finally, it hits one of the sons who think that he is Napoleon. The narrator gives no real emotional interpretation of the incidents.

“From Flores”---The point of view is third person omniscient.  Jason, the young man on his way to his pregnant girlfriend, becomes the protagonist of the story as he travels by small fishing boat.  It is his thoughts that the narrator gives the reader privy to in learning about his need to hurry toward his destination.

On the other hand, the thoughts of the captain and Ed, the crew man, along with the captain’s wife are also shown briefly. The narrator is vested in the outcome of the story.  In particular, the young pregnant girl and the captain’s wife are devastated by the loss of their loved ones.     

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