Reality is just a point of view away

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In some works, authors mingle points of view in order to imitate reality. For example, many first-person narrators use various types of the third-person point of view during much of their narration. Authors may also vary points of view to sustain interest, create suspense, or put the burden of response entirely upon readers.
--Roberts, pg 84

When I read chapter 4, my favorite book popped into my mind almost immediately--The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm not sure this book really fits with the above quote--the author does "mingle points of view," but in a very different way from what Roberts talks about in his chapter. In the story, the author jumps not only from two people's points of view (Henry and his wife Clare), but also into different parts of time--past, present, future--you get the picture. Anyway, I guess the whole point I'm trying to make here is that, in my opinion, point of view can either make or break a story. In the case of The Time Traveler's Wife, I honestly don't think the story would have had the same effect if the author had written it from only one of Henry or Clare's points of view. Readers would still be able to empathize with the characters, but I don't think they would experience the same amount of raw emotions that are in this book. I recently went to see the movie with some friends, and I have to say that the book was much better, mostly because of the point of view. It's just impossible to make a movie or play reach the same areas of the mind that a 1st or even 3rd person omniscient story does. 
Aside from the useful tips and questions for writing an essay about point of view, the only other thing I really took out of this chapter was the existence of 2nd person point of view--before this class, I'd never heard of that point of view before. It really intrigued me, but I also thought it was rather confusing, and to be quite honest, I can't really think of any stories that I've read that it applies to. I guess that's precisely why Roberts said it was less common than the rest.

2 Comments

Cody Naylor said:

I agree with you... I enjoy mingled point of view in literature. I read several mystery novels this summer in which the author jumps around from the main character (the one trying to solve the murder mystery) to the killer's point of view, and sometimes even to secondary characters (either while they are being killed or when they discover something that could aid the main character). I really liked it because it felt refreshing instead of the typical story where I am usually limited to one character's (or the narrator's) point of view.

Aja Hannah said:

It isn't typical that a movie is better than the book. There are just too many details missing or crammed into 2 hours.

For second person, I knew it existed, but I wasn't sure what it was. The book helped explain that a little better, but I still have problems understanding too.

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