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  • “I am an invisible man.”

  • Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”

  • You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel.”

  • These three opening lines, from Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man,"

  • Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway,"

  • and Italo Calvino's "If on a winter's night a traveler,"

  • each establish a different point of view.

  • Who is telling a story, and from what perspective,

  • are some of the most important choices an author makes.

  • Told from a different point of view, a story can transform completely.

  • Take this fairytale:

  • "Rapunzel, Rapunzel," the Prince called, "let down your hair."

  • Rapunzel unbraided her hair and slung it out the window.

  • The prince climbed her tresses into the tower.

  • Rapunzel is typically told like this, with the narrator outside the story.

  • This point of view is called third person.

  • But Rapunzel can also be told by a character in the story

  • a first person narrator.

  • The tail end of Rapunzel's locks plopped down at my feet.

  • I grabbed on and began to climbugh!

  • I couldn't untangle myself.

  • Strands came off all over me, sticking to my sweat.

  • In a first person narrative, the story can change dramatically

  • depending on which character is the narrator.

  • Say Rapunzel was narrating instead of the prince:

  • I hope he appreciates how long it takes to unbraid 25 feet of hair, I thought.

  • OUCH! I'll be honest; I thought my scalp would stretch off of my skull.

  • "Can you climb any faster?" I yelled.

  • In second person, the narrator addresses the story to the reader:

  • He calls your name. He wants you to let your hair down.

  • You just finished braiding it, but heyyou don't get a lot of visitors.

  • Third person, first person, and second person perspectives

  • each have unique possibilities and constraints.

  • So how do you choose a point of view for your story?

  • Constraints aren't necessarily a bad thing

  • they can help focus a story or highlight certain elements.

  • For example,

  • a third person narrator is necessarily a bit removed from the characters.

  • But that can be good for stories where a feeling of distance is important.

  • A third person narrator can be either limited,

  • meaning they stick close to one character's thoughts and feelings,

  • or they can be omniscient, able to flit between characters' minds

  • and give the reader more information.

  • A first person story creates closeness between the reader and the narrator.

  • It's also restricted by the narrator's knowledge.

  • This can create suspense

  • as the reader finds out information along with the character.

  • A first person narrator doesn't necessarily

  • have to represent the character's experience faithfully

  • they can be delusional or dishonest.

  • In Kazuo Ishiguro's novel "The Remains of the Day,"

  • Stevens, an aging British butler in 1956, recounts his many years of service,

  • but fails to acknowledge the flaws of the man he serves.

  • The cracks in his narrative eventually draw the reader's attention

  • to the under-acknowledged failings of the culture and class system

  • he inhabits.

  • Justin Torres's novel, "We the Animals,"

  • begins with a plural first person narrator:

  • We were six snatching hands, six stomping feet;

  • we were brothers, boys, three little kings locked in a feud for more.”

  • Partway through the story, the point of view shifts

  • to first person singular, from we to I, as the boys come of age

  • and one brother feels alienated from the others.

  • Second person is a less common choice.

  • It requires the writer to make the reader suspend disbelief to become anotheryou.”

  • Placing the reader in a character's perspective

  • can build urgency and suspense.

  • Sometimes, though,

  • second person is intended to distance the narrator from their own story,

  • rather than bring the reader closer to the story.

  • In these cases,

  • second person narrators refer to themselves asyourather than “I.”

  • Writers are constantly experimenting with fresh variations on point of view.

  • New virtual and augmented reality technologies

  • may expand the possibilities for this experimentation.

  • By placing people at a particular vantage point in virtual space,

  • how might we change the way we tell and experience stories?

“I am an invisible man.”

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B1 中級 美國腔

第一人稱VS第二人稱VS第三人稱--Rebekah Bergman。 (First person vs. Second person vs. Third person - Rebekah Bergman)

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    Seraya 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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