John Updike: AP

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Post a response of at least 150 words to the attached story.

  • Identify the point of view used in the narration.
  • Discuss how this point of view affects your reading and interpretation of the story.
  • How might a different type of narration (point of view) alter the meaning of the story?
  • Provide at least two specific examples from the text to illustrate and support your argument.

Guidelines

Point of view refers to the perspective from which the story is narrated. Various points of view can be present in literature. Points of view include:

  • First person: the story is told from the perspective of the narrator, who is usually the protagonist, using first-person pronouns—I, me, or we.
  • Second person: the narrator addresses readers as “you,” which gives the audience the feeling that they are in or a part of the story.
  • Third person omniscient: the story is told using third-person pronouns, such as he, she, or they, and the narrator is godlike in his or her ability to see and know everything (omniscient).
  • Third person limited: the narrator tells the story using third-person pronouns, but the narrator is not all knowing, for his or her knowledge is limited to the perspective of one character.

Point of view has an impact on how we understand the story. First-person narrators are often unreliable as they are telling the story from their own subjective perspective. In fact, a first-person narrator may fail to notice things that a careful reader will identify. Similarly, a third-person omniscient narrator gives the illusion of complete knowledge or understanding, suggesting to the reader that the story is a realistic account of life.

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