By Mike Klaassen
Narrative point of view is the perspective from which a story is told. Stories may be narrated from the viewpoint of either an unidentified entity (a persona) or one that is identified
1. An unidentified persona
- Examples of stories told from the point of view of an unidentified persona include folktales such as those published by the Brothers Grimm, where the narrator might begin a story with: Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away . . .
- A more recent example can be found in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series: Mr. and Mrs. Dursely, of number four, Privet Drive . . .
- This category also includes stories narrated in the second grammatical person, where the unidentified narrator is someone other than “you,” as in: You came home one day and discovered something that would change the rest of your life.
2. An identified persona may be one of two types:
- A persona who is not a character in the story, such as: My name is Olaf. I’m an old man now, but let me tell you an amazing story related to me many years ago.
- A persona who is also a character in the story (the vast majority of novels today are written from the viewpoint of a character, either in the first or third grammatical person).
Stories may be narrated from the viewpoint of either an unidentified entity (a persona) or one that is identified.
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This article was adapted from an excerpt of Third-Person Possessed by Mike Klaassen. Copyright 2020 and 2022. Michael John Klaassen. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this article with others.
Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1.