Second person point of view essay

Oh, I could just kick myself! We could do ourselves a favor and make a reservation for our group. Many stories and novels are written in the first-person point of view. When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games. The second-person point of view belongs to the person or people being addressed. Once again, the biggest indicator of the second person is the use of second-person pronouns: you, your, yours, yourself, yourselves.

You can wait in here and make yourself at home. You should be proud of yourselves for finishing this enormous project! Stories and novels written in the second person exist, but they are much rarer than narratives written from a first- or third-person perspective.

You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy. The third-person point of view belongs to the person or people being talked about. The third-person pronouns include he, him, his, himself, she, her, hers, herself, it, its, itself, they, them, their, theirs, and themselves.

Narration encompasses who tells the story and how the story is told for example, by using stream of consciousness or unreliable narration. In traditional literary narratives such as novels , short stories , and memoirs , narration is a required story element ; in other types of chiefly non-literary narratives, such as plays, television shows, video games, and films, narration is merely optional.

Narrative perspective is the position and character of the storyteller, in relation to the narrative. The Russian literary critic, Boris Uspensky , identifies five planes on which point of view is expressed in a narrative: 1 spatial, 2 temporal, 3 psychological, 4 phraseological, and 5 ideological. The narrator may be outside the narrative or within the story as a character. Or the narrator may be an observer that records events and happenings similar to a roving camera and montage.

Whatever the spatial stance of the narrator, it conveys a point of view to the reader. The spatial position of the narrator may create for the reader affinity to a character's point of view, or it can have the opposite effect of establishing distance from a character's perspective. The events may take place before, after, or during the time of narration, which affects narrative point of view. For example, when events are narrated after they have occurred posterior narration , the narrator is in a privileged position to the characters in the story and can delve into the deeper significance of events and happenings, pointing out the missteps and missed meanings of the characters.

Temporal point of view also focuses on the pace of narration. Narrative pace can either be accelerated or slowed down. Narrative retardation slowing down of narration foregrounds events and suggests what is to be noticed by the reader, whereas summation or acceleration of narrative pace places events and happenings in the background, diminishing their importance.

Second Person Point of View: A Writer's Guide

Psychological point of view focuses on characters' behaviors. Lanser concludes that this is "an extremely complex aspect of point of view, for it encompasses the broad question of the narrator's distance or affinity to each character and event…represented in the text. Phraseological point of view focuses on the speech characteristics of characters and the narrator. For example, the names, titles, epithets, and sobriquets given to a character may evaluate a character's actions or speech and express a narrative point of view.

Avoid Second-Person Point of View

Ideological point of view is not only "the most basic aspect of point of view" but also the "least accessible to formalization, for its analysis relies to a degree, on intuitive understanding. The ideological point of view may be stated outright—what Lanser calls "explicit ideology"—or it may be embedded at "deep-structural" levels of the text and not easily identified.

https://bibethewsi.tk A first-person point of view reveals the story through a participant narrator. First person creates a close relationship between the narrator and reader, by referring to the viewpoint character with first person pronouns like I or we , if the narrator is part of a larger group. Frequently, the first-person narrator is the protagonist , whose inner thoughts are expressed to the audience, even if not to any of the other characters.


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A first person narrator with limited omniscience is not able to witness or understand all facets of any situation. Thus, a narrator with this perspective will not be able to report the circumstances fully and will leave the reader with a subjective record of the plot details. Additionally, this narrator's character could be pursuing a hidden agenda or may be struggling with mental or physical challenges that further hamper their ability to tell the reader the whole, accurate truth of events.

This form includes temporary first-person narration as a story within a story , wherein a narrator or character observing the telling of a story by another is reproduced in full, temporarily and without interruption shifting narration to the speaker. The first-person narrator can also be the focal character. The second-person point of view is a point of view where the audience is made a character. This is done with the use of second-person pronouns like you. The narrator may be addressing the audience directly, but more often the second-person referent of these stories is a character within the story.

Employing Narrative Voice

Stories and novels in second person are comparatively uncommon. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy. The Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks are written in second person. In the third-person narrative mode, the narrator refers to all characters with third person pronouns like he , she , or they , and never first- or second-person pronouns. This makes it clear that the narrator is an unspecified entity or uninvolved person who conveys the story and is not a character of any kind within the story, or at least is not referred to as such.

Traditionally, third-person narration is the most commonly used narrative mode in literature. It does not require that the narrator's existence be explained or developed as a particular character, as would be the case with a first-person narrator.


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  5. It thus allows a story to be told without detailing any information about the teller narrator of the story. Instead, a third-person narrator is often simply some disembodied commentary or voice, rather than a fully developed character. While the tendency for novels or other narrative works is to adopt a single point of view throughout the entire novel, some authors have utilized other points of view that, for example, alternate between different first-person narrators or alternate between a first- and a third-person narrative mode.

    The ten books of the Pendragon adventure series, by D. MacHale , switch back and forth between a first-person perspective handwritten journal entries of the main character along his journey as well as a disembodied third-person perspective focused of his friends back home. Often, a narrator using the first person will try to be more objective by also employing the third person for important action scenes, especially those in which they are not directly involved or in scenes where they are not present to have viewed the events in firsthand. It alternates between both boys telling their part of the story, how they meet and how their lives then come together.

    Examples of Point of View in Literature

    These four characters meet at the top of a tall building known as "the suicide spot" and begin to talk instead of jumping. They then form a group and continue to meet up. The narrative voice is essential for storytelling, as this sets up the story for the reader, for example, by viewing a character's thought processes, reading a letter written for someone, or retelling a character's experiences.

    A stream of consciousness voice gives the typically first-person narrator's perspective by attempting to replicate the thought processes—as opposed to simply the actions and spoken words—of the narrative character. Something smacks of gimmick, an easy out, of nuzzling the reader warmly into your work. You become uneasy. Are you the person for the job? You ask yourself how that helps anything.

    You decide to look at it from another angle. Point of View, as you well know, is a formal device, an apparatus employed by writers to establish and then deepen the world of the story. It is not an absolute, unto itself, more like a viewing screen, a lens, a microscope through which to view the story, a CT scan, say, of the spirit. You realize you have a tendency to overindulge similes. You ask, so how different really is Second Person?