Tell the same short passage from several
Point of View
Third Person Narrator (objective)
She came down the steps of the Police Station. Herr hanky was shaking hand still and her coat undone. She walked unsteadily.
“Look where you’re going!” shouted a woman grasping her child out of the way .
Third Person Narrator (subjective)
She still couldn’t take in what the inspector had said. Jimmy was in prison. She’d forgotten she was still holding her hanky. When she noticed it shaking in her hand, she almost staggered into a small child on the pavement.
“Look where you’re going!” shouted the mother.
How can Jimmy be in prison? How can he be? Prison! Jimmy! God, where am I? Where is this? What am I doing? Oh! It’s a child. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. . . You don’t have to yell. In prison. And for. . . No. he couldn’t have.
“So she goes to the police station, yeah? And they tell her, “Jimmy, your son, we’ve arrested him.”
“What was it for?”
“She wouldn’t say. She seemed to be drunk!”
“Something to do with that Sharon, I expect. I knew she was trouble!”
Third Person Objective
The narrator doesn’t get involved. He just observes. All the characters get the same treatment. Though it’s still possible to show sympathy by the way things and people are observed. (She had eyes as dark as amber. She had eyes as dark as Satan’s sweetheart)
Third Person Subjective
Here the narrator allows him/herself to slip into the thoughts of characters, usually just the main character if it’s a short story. The narrator is ‘looking over the shoulder’ of a character, sees things from his/her point of view.
Here the character him/herself speaks, and so you get a fuller account of how he/she is feeling. But of course, the point of view might not be reliable. He/she may twist the reality to suit his/her dignity or fears. Some novels had several first person narrators, so we keep switching point of view.
Here the characters do all or some of the narration when they talk about the main character. We then get their point of view, and the character is seen through their attitude to him/her.
points of view. Which suits you best? Why?