How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

21 terms

Narrative technique - Point of View

STUDY
PLAY
author
The writer of the story, essay, novella, novel, etc.
narrator
The person telling the story (usually NOT the author)
narrative perspective
the point of view, ie. the vantage point or stance from which a story is told, the eye and mind through which the action is perceived and filtered
third-person limited
the narrator is limited to the knowledge and perception of one single character
first-person as protagonist
A character in the story tells the story, using the pronoun I. The narration is limited to this character's thoughts, feelings and perception
third-person observer
the narrator is not a character in the story, nor does he know the thoughts and feelings of the story's characters
third-person omniscient
Point of view in which an omniscient narrator (a persona with godlike knowledge) has the knowledge of thoughts and actions of all characters (past, present, future)
unreliable narrator
a narrator whose account of events appears to be faulty, misleadingly biased, or otherwise distorted
shift of point of view
a change in perspective from one character to another, or one perspective to another
first-person as observer
the narrator is a minor character in the story who plays the role of an eyewitness. His sources of information are what he hears and sees and what the main character tells him.
credibility / intimacy
terms usually associated with a first-person point of view
interior monologue
a narrative technique that records a character's internal flow of (unspoken) thoughts, memories, and ideas
character
a person who takes part in the action of a literary work
unlimited scope
usually associated with an omniscient point of view. A narrator with an unlimited scope has a "godlike" position and access to all characters' thoughts past, present, future
self-effacing author
a writer who presents the actions, thoughts, and dialogue of characters from an objective point of view, without personal or subjective commentary
authorial-narrative-situation
narrator may comment on the discourse/action in a way that transcends the scope of the characters in the story
figural-narrative-situation
narrator does not comment on the discourse/action of different characters, as he is limited to the critical insight of one or more specific characters
persona
a mask, or "second self" through which the author tells a story
naive narrator
a narrator not fully understanding all implications of his/her tale
fly-on-the-wall-technique
narrator is restricted to only those objects and details that can be seen and heard by an invisible witness
objective narrator
the narrator is impersonal, i.e. he/she reports from outside as a "hidden observer"