Point of view

5 Easy Activities for Teaching Point of View

Point of view is the “eye” or narrative voice through which you tell a story. When you write a story, you must decide who is telling the story, and to whom they are telling it. The story could be told by a character who is involved in the story, or from a perspective that sees and knows all of the characters but is not one of them.

Example from a story we have read: The Fall of the House of Usher

First Person Narrator: is he reliable?

The narrator is nameless, which suggests that his principal job is to narrate. We don’t know much about him, and our attention is drawn instead to the strangeness going down in the House of Usher; it’s the narrator’s place to take us on a tour of the Mansion de Fear.

The narrator acts as a pair of eyes observing the goings on within the Usher house, where Roderick and Madeleine have been living solitary and in suffering. As the childhood friend of Roderick Usher, the narrator is able to detail the changes in Roderick, and to report on and, to an extent, tend to Roderick as the supernatural events of the story play out.

At the start, he seems to be a reliable narrator. As the story goes on, and as he is drawn further and further into Usher’s insanity, he becomes unreliable.

The narrator tells us the story, he orders Roderick’s narrative and mediates between reality and insanity.

In the end, the narrator is the only witness of the fall of the house of Usher.

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