Point of view

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Jason and Lefcowitz define point of view as “either (1) the position from which we look at something or (2) the consequences of looking at something from a particular position, that is, the opinions, judgments, or attitudes that we form” (30). Point of view is not merely about whether the story is told in first, second, or third person. What is written is closely related to how it is written, and the atmosphere, mood, and tone of the story are all affected by point of view. A story’s value can depend on effective narration, and choosing the proper point of view for a specific subject can either draw the reader closer to the characters or drive them away. For example, in telling a dramatic tale of disaster, the use of first person point of view may be more compelling than the use of third person with objective limitation in which the reader has no direct access to the minds of the characters. Jason and Lefcowitz state, “once you have decided to have your say, choose a viewpoint that will guide your reader’s understanding and reactions” (31).

Literary Terms

Works Cited

  • Creative Writer’s Handbook, 2nd ed. Philip K. Jason and Allan B. Lefcowitz. Prentice Hall, 1994.