Perspective

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Perspective refers to the way in which a narrator confers information to an audience.

Contents

Definition

As with point of view and focalization, perspective is a term used to reference how a narrator or focalizer regulates information. Many different variations of perspective, as with point of view, are possible which govern the way a story is told. Multiple perspectives are also a frequent occurrence in narratives, allowing for a more complete picture of a story. In a general sense, perspective in a story is aligned with the thoughts and feelings of one character at a time, filtering the story through the lens of that character's interpretation.

Examples

"Timmy Willie longed to be at home in his peaceful nest in a sunny bank. The food disagreed with him; the noise prevented him from sleeping. In a few days he grew so thin that Johnny Town-mouse noticed it, and questioned him. He listened to Timmy Willie's story and inquired about the garden. 'It sounds rather a dull place? What do you do when it rains?'

'When it rains, I sit in my little sandy burrow and shell corn and seeds from my Autumn store. I peep out at the throstles and blackbirds on the lawn, and my friend Cock Robin. And when the sun comes out again, you should see my garden and the flowers--roses and pinks and pansies--no noise except the birds and bees, and the lambs in the meadows.'"

Beatrix Potter, "The Tale of Johnny-Mouse"

Critical Debates

{is the term contested, challenged, defined differently, etc.?}

Related Terms

point of view, focalization, focalizer

References

Keen, Susan. Narrative Form

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