The View from Saturday

by E. L. Konigsburg

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Understanding the point of view and the meaning of the title in "The View From Saturday."


The View From Saturday employs both omniscient and first-person points of view. The omniscient narrator knows everything about the characters, while the first-person sections are narrated by the sixth-graders, Nadia, Noah, Ethan, and Julian. The title refers to the transformative Saturday meetings at Julian's house, where the characters found friendship and hope, making their world view more positive.

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What is the point of view in The View from Saturday?

This story is told from more than one point of view. Sometimes, E. L. Konigsburg's novel has the point of view of an omniscient narrator. This narrator is not an actual character in the story. During these parts, the narrator doesn't make themselves known with personal pronouns like I. Here, the narrator's role isn’t to be a character, but to tell what's happening with the characters. As the word omniscient indicates, the narrator knows everything about the characters and what’s going on in their lives. For example, it knows that the Academic Bowl is taking place in a cold television studio, and it knows that Nadia’s red hair would have likely inspired the Italian painter Raphael.

In The View from Saturday, Konigsburg breaks up the omniscient point of view with a first-person point of view. In certain parts, Konigsburg hands the narration over to the sixth-graders taking part in the competition. Depending on the section, the point of view could come from Nadia, Noah, Ethan, or Julian.

In these chapters, one might notice plenty of personal pronouns like I; that's because there is a specific person behind this point of view. Here, one isn't getting the point of view from a disembodied narrator but from a specific character who has a concrete role in Konigsburg's story.

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What does the title "The View From Saturday" mean?

"The View From Saturday"  refers to the importance of the meetings The Souls had at Julian's house. Before the first party, they were all being shaped by the force of peer pressure at school around them (including exclusion), which happens Monday through Friday. After they started meeting—on Saturdays—they became a community. They found friendship and hope, and they were more resistant to negative influences from the other kids. In other words, the view from Saturday makes the world look a lot better to all the members of The Souls; it became their main way of seeing things.

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