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A story's point of view | Reading

Stories have points of view. Let's talk about the three flavors they can come in: first person (which is from the "I" perspective), second person (from the "you" perspective), and third person (from the "he/she/they" perspective).

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Video transcript

- [David] Hello, readers. Today, I wanna talk all about me. Well, I wanna talk about three things. First, I wanna talk all about me, then I'm gonna talk about you, and then we're gonna talk about them. David, what are you talking about, you're probably asking. Well, in a word, POV. In three words, point of view. Every story has a point of view. It's being told to us by someone, a narrator. But who is that narrator? Understanding the answer to that question in the stories that you read will make you a strong reader. There are three different flavors of point of view. First, second, and third person. First person is when the narrator is a character in the story. They use words like I, me, and my. Here's an example. I bolted out of bed, grabbed my backpack, and rushed out the door. Today was the day I was finally going to learn to ride a horse. First person narrators can only tell us the parts of the story that they experienced or already know about. If something happens that the narrator doesn't know about, we, the reader, won't know about it either. Second person is when you are a character in the story. This is pretty rare. A lot of the choose your own adventure books, that were popular when I was a kid, used second person point of view, but they're not as big as they used to be. Imagine a guided relaxation recording, when you think of second person. (calm music) You are calm. Your breathing is slow and even. You are sitting on a bench, looking at the ocean. The ocean is calm, and so are you. This kind of point of view usually sounds like it's giving directions to you, the reader. The most common point of view in stories is the third person. A narrator who isn't a character in the story. A third person narrator uses words like he, she, and they, for characters in the story, instead of I, or you. It lets the story teller get inside the heads of characters to see how they're feeling, or what they're thinking. Here's an example. Beni opened his closet door to grab a jacket, only to be greeted by a horrifying monster. He screamed and ran out of the room, scared out of his mind. Inside her monster costume, Rita giggled. She had tricked her brother! See how we can follow both Rita and Beni? The narrator can see what both of the are thinking or feeling at the same time. Now, imagine if that little snippet were told from Rita or Beni's first person's perspectives. Rita using I, or Beni using I, instead of a third person POV, using he or she. We might see it differently, reading that story. From Rita's perspective, it's a funny prank, from Beni's, it's super scary. He just saw a monster. So to recap, there are three different types of narration or points of view in a story. First person, the narrator is a character inside the story and uses words like I or me. Second person, the narrator is speaking directly to you, the reader, and uses the pronoun you. This is rare and it sounds like it's giving directions. And third person, the narrator is outside the story. In telling it, they use words like he, she, and they. What's the POV of your favorite story? Is it first person, second, or third? How would it feel different if it were told from a different point of view? Would the narrator know different things? I can tell you one thing I know for certain, and that's that you can learn anything. David out.