#4. Do you want me to climb Mt. Everest, or does this have something to do with books?


Literary point of view has nothing to do with Mt. Everest and everything to do with books. There are basically three main points of view in literature (click on the link for additional info. and to make your comments sound really smarticle):

There’s first person POV (point of view), which is when the person telling the story is also a character in the story. Take Twilight for instance. The very first word in the preface of this book tells us it’s first person POV. Bella says, “I’d never given much thought to how I would die–though I’d had reason enough in the last few months–but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.” Since she’s talking about herself as “I” or “me” or “myself” then we know Twilight has been written in first person point of view.

first person pov second person third person for English and reading teachers

Image: iClipart

Second person point of view is sort of rare in works of fiction–much more common in do-it-yourself books and self-help books–but Rick Riordan’s novel, The Red Pyramid starts out in second person: “We only have a few hours, so listen carefully. If you’re hearing this story, you’re already in danger.” With second person POV, the narrator talks to the reader, using words like “you should do this” and “you need to do that”. So it’s easy to understand why fiction doesn’t use second person POV as much as nonfiction does.

Third person POV is quite common, on the other hand. With third person, the writer tells the story from a distance, using words like “she did this” or “they did that” instead of using “I” or “you” in describing the action. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series books are written in the third person:

“I’m a what?” gasped Harry.

“A wizard, o’ course,” said Hagrid…

Harry stretched out his hand at last to take the yellowish envelope, addressed in emerald green to Mr. H. Potter, The Floor, Hut-on-the-Rock, The Sea.

Granted, in this example, the imagined character of Harry uses the word “I” but it’s within the context of his dialog, so Harry is not the narrator. Instead, the narrator is some god-like being telling the story from an all-knowing (omniscient) place beyond the confines of Harry’s life. Had Rowling written Harry Potter in the first person POV, it would have sounded more like this:

“I’m a what?” I gasped.

“A wizard, o’ course,” said Hagrid…

I stretched out my hand at last to take the yellowish envelope, addressed in emerald green to me, Mr. H. Potter, The Floor, Hut-on-the-Rock, The Sea.

You see, in this context–first person POV–Harry would be telling his own story from his own point of view. But that’s not what Rowling did. She told his story with Harry as a “he” and his friends as “they” not “us”. Therefore, Harry Potter is written in third person point of view.

For your comment, write a question about point of view in the novel you’re reading. Remember the format we’ve used before:

  • Include the title of your book
  • Write a question that’s challenging (i.e. HARD)
  • Write it with good spelling and grammar, so it doesn’t need to be edited before being published
  • Answer your own question

36 responses »

  1. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

    Q: Tell what point of view this story is written in and tell why you think the author wrote it this way.
    A: This book is written in Third-Person, Objective. The reason the author used this point of view because was a common form of writting during his time.

  2. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
    In the story this guy says ‘depend on it , if you do not go back, where-ever you go you will meet nothing but disasters and dissppointments till you fathers words upon you.’
    Qestion:What he means when he says disasters and diappointments. What is Robinson Crusoe gonna go through?
    Answer: Rbinson Crsoeis going to get in a ship wretch,people were wounded some died and some got captured.

  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Question: Jane Austen, author of classic novels, enjoys writing in third person point of view. Why do you think she does and how the meanings of her would books change if they were written in a different point of view?
    Third person is a great way to write a classic because the reader sees’s it like the author does. First person the reader sees’s it as the character. Second person point of view the readers basically getting dragged into the story with the characters. I think she writes in third person because she wants to imagine her readers as if writing the book and so when you get to the end you’re blown away by how the story that “you wrote” ended. Here is a quote from my book: The discussion of Mr. Collins offer was now nearly at an end, and Elizabeth had only to suffer from the uncomfortable feelings necessarily attending it, and occasionally from some peevish allusion of her mother. Now if this was explaining it as “I” “me” My” ECT. Then you would see from the characters eyes instead of imagining it from your own. And if it was written with “you” which is second person then the narrator is also a character in the story and you still wouldn’t be seeing it through your eyes but instead by both the character and narrator.
    Also the meaning would change because it wouldn’t be just the characters but yourself, and the narrator.

  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

    Q:State the point of view in this book and explain how you know this.
    A:Jane Eyre is told in first person point of view.I know this because it says in this book I did this or my this and my that.Here is a paragraph out of my book for an example:
    “My head still ached and bled with the blow and fall I had received; no one had reproved John for wantonly striking me; and because I had turned against him to avert farther irrational violence, I was loaded with general opprobrium.”

  5. Tarzan of the Apes by edgar rice burroughs

    In the book Tarzan what point of view is it and why do you think its that point of view?

    this book is 1st person because in the begining of the book the character is using key words like I and thats why i think its 1st person point of view.

    • Well in Tarzan of the Apes the first chapter is 1st person point of view but as you go on in the story it goes into 2nd point of view wonce it gets into the second chapter

  6. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

    Question-List two quotes that prove the “To Kill a Mockingbird” is in 1st person.

    Answer-“That was different! You go gargle-right now, you hear me?” and ‘My first impulse was to get it into my mouth as quickly as possible, but I remebered where I was”. The author used the words “I” and “me”, so it’s in 1st person.

    • Rick, your first example sentence, “That was different…” is actually dialog. That doesn’t count. It’s usually in first person POV, because someone’s talking. To tell which point of view the AUTHOR is using, you need to look only at the narration (the telling of the tale) without including dialog.

  7. I’m reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
    by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    In your novel, first explain the general meaning of point of view in your own words. Then, tell the point of view of your novel, and quote a passage from the story in another point of view.

    The general meaning of point of view to me would be the way the author portrays the story itself to the reader. It can be with a narrator(whom can be a character in the story, or it can just be simply the voice that speaks in your mind when you read), the main character in the story(in which the author uses the words “I” and “me” and “we”, or where the author sort of speaks to you using “he” and “she” and “it”.
    Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was written in the third person point of view. His sidekick, Dr. Watson, is also portraying the part of the narrator here, I do believe. However, I’m not so far in the story, and if I’m wrong I apologize.
    In first person; “To me, she is always the woman.” This would be Sherlock speaking.

  8. Q: What point of veiw is The Christmas Carol and tell weather you think it would be a better story if it was put in a differenr point of view.

    A:My book A Christmas Carol by: Charles Dickensis in the third person point of view but i think it would be well better told in the first person point of view because it would would be more understanding if Ebeneizer Scrooge would tell us the story.

  9. Around The World In 80 Days

    What POV is used in my book

    This is in third person piont of view cause they use he instead of I in the story.

    “Mr.Phileas Fogg,lived in 1872, at No.7,Savile Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814. He was one of the most noticeable members of the Reform Club, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention;an enigmatical personage, about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man of the world.”

  10. The Call of The Wild by Jack London

    Q: What POV (point of view does your book have and why do you think it is this POV give an example from the book.
    A: My book is 3rd POV becuase in the book it says that “Buck is a devil dog” becuase hes always getting in truble. its 3rd POV becuase the book says it like their watching Him instead of buck saying “I am a devil dog”.

  11. Island of the Blue Dolphins
    Question:What POV is my book in and explain why?
    Answer:My book is in the first POV because it says I did this or that.

  12. The Red Pony
    Q: State the point of view of your book and tell how you came to that conclusion.
    A: My book is written in third person i know that because it uses words like she,he,her, and him.

  13. Othello by Julius Lester

    Q: Explain the POV of the story then give an example supporting your decision.

    A: I beleive the POV of Othello is Third person. I think that is correct beacause they say “Emily!” she shouted. The author used SHE instead of I or ME which would change the POV.

  14. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
    Q: Name the point of view in this story then explain how the feelings towards the other characters would change if it was written in the third person point of view.
    A: This story is written in the first person point of view. The feelings towards the characters would have changed if it was written in the third person point of view because the feelings that Jane is retelling in her story would have been more plain but while it is written in first person point of view these feelings are stronger as if we are bystanders in the moment feeling the emotions surrounding her.

  15. Roots by Alex Haley
    Q. In “Roots”, what point of view does the author use to tell the story? How do the characters help to tell the point of view?
    A. The point of view he uses is third person point of view. The characters help tell the point of view because the sometimes use first person point of view but kunta is always being told from third person point of view.

    • Okay, wait. Huh? Alex Haley flops from first person POV to third person POV? No. I doubt that. Let me see the book. I wanna see where there’s a flip-er-oo. I’m not giving you points for this journal log until you can prove it.

    • Roots by Alex Haley
      Q. In “Roots”, what point of view does the author use to tell the story? How do the characters help to tell the point of view?
      A. The point of view he uses is third person point of view. The characters help tell the point of view because when they talk to one another and tell stories to one another they use words like he and she.

  16. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

    Question: Find what point of view the book is in. Then tell what makes this book unique in its point of view.

    Answer: The book is in the first point of view. The First POV makes the book unique because the narrator’s or protagonist’s deep thoughts can be easily showed to the audience and not the rest of the other characters in the book.

    • Point of view is about who tells the story. Is the main character telling the story (1st person POV) or is it more like God or some all-knowing person in the background is telling the story (3rd person POV)?

      Go ahead and look over your classmates’ answers. That may help. Remember, Autumn is reading the same book as you, but try not to copy her answer exactly. You’re welcome to ask her for help during class though. And did you click on the links I provided? That should help too.

      When you submit it again later, it will still count. There’s not “late fee”.

  17. Cannery Row by John Steinback
    Q. Quote one or two sentences from the book and try to change the given point of view into a different one.
    A.Lee considered. He knew it didn’t matter what he charged. He wasn’t going to get it anyway.

    I gave the question a ponder. I realized that no matter how much I charged, I wasn’t going to get the money anyway

  18. Where the Red Fern Grown by Wilson Rawls.

    Q: What POV is used in this book and explain how you know.

    A: This book is written in firs persn POV I know this because in this book its says I did this and I did that. here is a paragraph I found in the book that shows this.
    “I came out just like I went in,feet first and belly down. my legs were spread out like a bean-shooter stalk. Arms flailing in the air, I zoomed out and up. I seemed to hang suspended in air at the peak of my climb. I could see the hard-packed ground far below.”
    In this paragraph it says I and my that states that it is in first person POV.

  19. 1. Question: If you could change the P.O.V. (point of view) in the book “The Hiding Place” what would you change it to? If you could, why?
    Answer: In my opinion, I wouldn’t really change the P.O.V. because it really puts feeling and emotion into the main character and the story, allowing the protagonist’s inner thoughts to be conveyed openly to the audience but if I had to change the P.O.V. I would probably change it to third person, because that is the more common point of view. Second person point of view isn’t usually found in books.

  20. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    Question)My book is in the third person POV. Why do you think the author chose to do this book in third person POV? Can you imagine this book being in second or first person POV? Explain.

    Answer)The author chose to do this book in third person POV because in novels it’s easier to tell the story as an author rather then trying to have the character do it. I could imagine the story being in the other two POV but it would just be kind of strange and funky.

  21. I’m reading EMMA by Jane Austen.

    Mrs. Sparhawk: I know it says to write a QUESTION, but I made this more like a short-answer thing. It’s a statement not a question. Is that okay? Here goes:

    Q: Quote a passage from Chapter 1 that demonstrates point of view and explain which point of view is being used.
    A: “It was a melancholy change; and Emma could not but sigh over it and wish for impossible things, till her father awoke and made it necessary to be cheerful.”
    This novel is using third person point of view, but it’s not omniscient. (Did I spell that right?) The story is told from Emma’s angle, not her dad’s or somebody else’s. But Jane Austen uses “Emma” and “she” and “her” instead of “I” when describing scenes. So it’s kind of weird. Even though it’s third person point of view, I guess, it’s also from Emma’s perspective too.

    • Wow. Great response, Emma. I’m guessing you used the links that I provided to help you understand third person omniscient POV? (Or maybe you’re learning that at your school…?) And yeah, it’s fine to do a short-answer-type statement instead of a true question.

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