My POV Likes to Mingle

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"The point of view or guiding intelligence created by the author of a literary work determines how we read, understand, and respond" (77).
                    -Edgar V. Roberts, Writing About Literature

I didn't realize it until I read chapter 4 of the textbook, but point of view is probably my favorite aspect of literature.  This realization surprised me at first.  I mean, what's the big deal?  Any story has to be told from some point of view, right?  Yes, but the part of it that impresses me is the execution of the point of view.  I like to get inside the mind of the point-of-view character, such as Peyton Farquhar in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," or Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables.  Both stories have mingling points of view, but they allow you to truly understand how and why a character feels.

I get more out of a story written in the limited third person point of view when it's intermingled with the first person, as is the case with most books it seems.  Having both perspectives, what an outsider observes of the character and what the character herself actually does or says, makes my personal observation and understanding more complete.  It's almost like doing a psychological study, but I don't need to have my Ph.D. or Psy.D. to have valid opinions because I'm the only one those opinions affect.  It's extremely more difficult to analyze a character, to me, if all I'm seeing is the perspective from the third person omniscient point of view.  This POV is probably the most objective, but I don't think we should be completely objective when analyzing a character's motives.  I think we need to know the emotions behind those decisions, and there's no better way to understand them than from the character himself either through mingled first person or limited third person.  

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2 Comments

Josie Rush said:

I don't think it's strange that pov is one of your favorite aspects of literature. That's an important choice the author makes; it affects the entire story. It's one of my favorite things, too. I thought I didn't like third person as much, and then I read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (I know, so girly), and found that it can be just as personable.
ps I think we should find out how many times we can logically through Anne of Green Gables into a blog. heh.

Josie,

I don't think it's strange now, but it was never something I actually thought about until I read chapter 4. Now it makes perfect sense. It's just that, without really thinking about it, I assumed my favorite aspect of literature would be something like symbolism or metaphors, so realizing it was point of view made me go :O

PS: That's my plan. I have to support Anne!

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