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Point of View Defined

A story can be told in three different types of point of view: first person, second person, and third person.

Writers use point of view to express the personal emotions of either themselves or their characters. 

First-person Point of View

A character in the story is telling the story. Pronouns "I," "me," or "we" are used in first-person point of view. 

Examples of first person point of view:

  • I love to walk my dog.I always look forward to my summer vacation at the beach. I like to collect seashells and swim in the ocean.
  • If I could go on a vacation anywhere, I would go to Hawaii.
  • We didn't like the chocolate.

Second-person Point of View

The writer is speaking to the reader.  Pronouns  "you," "your," and "yours".

Examples of second-person point of view:

  • If you are careful, you can make your own clubhouse.
  • You must make sure you follow all the directions to complete the task.

Third-person Point of View

In third-person point of view a narrator is telling the story. Pronouns "he," "she," "it," or "they" are used. There are three types of third person point of view: third person limited, third person omniscient, third person objective.

Examples of third person point of view:

  • He made the touchdown and was so excited!
  • She knew that it was her time to be the winner of the spelling bee.

Third Person Limited:

The narrator allows the reader to see the thoughts and feelins of one character.

Example from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets novels:

‘Harry saw at once that it was a diary, and the faded year on the cover told him it was fifty years old. He opened it eagerly. On the first page he could just make out the name “T. M. Riddle” in smudged ink.’

Objective Point of View:

No thoughts or feelings are not told. Narrator shows none.

Example from Hansel and Gretel:

“Hansel walked ahead of GretelGretel dropped breadcrumbs behind her as she went.

Ahead of them, an old witch waited.”

Third Person Omniscient Point of View:

The narrator shows the thoughts and feelings of two or more characters in the story. The reader is all knowing through the narrator showing them.

“Hobbits!” he thought. “Well, what next? I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a Hobbit sleeping out of doors under a tree. Three of them! There’s something mighty queer behind this.” He was quite right, but he never found out any more about it.

(The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien)




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