Narrative point of view reflection

There are three types of narrative point of views which I have earned. The first, second and third person narrator. Besides from the three different narrators, I have also noticed that there are different kinds of focalizations which are zero, internal and external focalization.

First of all the first person narrator focus on “I” as the subject, as the story move on, “I” is the main stream who lead the story, the whole story focus on how “I” feel or how “I” react. Secondly, the second person narrator focus on “you” as the subject, as the story move on, the content will not contain emotions reflected directly from “me” which means the emotions which the story describe is not the most direct and cannot fully represent how the character actually feels inside. Thirdly, the third person narrator is the way when the writer use “he” or “she” as the main subject. This way of narrating can be the clearest as the writer is not controlling anything at all, the writer can writes and represent all characters in their story but this way of writing is like a movie scrip it is harder to shown emotions from the character.

Apart from those three different kinds of narrators, there are also three types of focalizations which are zero, internal and external focalization. First of all, when the writer is using zero focalization, that means they control all parts or know every details in the story. Internal focalization means the point of view of the plot is based on the character, the writer will not write something which the character don’t understand or acknowledge because the focus is on how exactly the character think or feel. External focalization is similar to watching a movie as the writer will mostly describes the conversation between characters or action which is shown by the characters.

The most difficult part for me is to identify the focalization based on different plot. Sometimes there are parts which the story is not describing the main character but some movements from other characters. At first I thought this is count as external focalization as the plot is about others’ motion just like a movie but in fact it is count as internal focalization which is based on the other character’s perspective. After I made that mistake, I realize that focalization isn’t focus just on the main characters, other people who show up in the story can also be the key factors which suggest what focalization is the author using at that plot.

I think knowing the theory and examples of different narrating skills is equally important. At the early stage, we should understand the theory of those narrating skills first as this move will give us a better concept of what is narrating about. After knowing all the theories, we can start looking up for different stories or texts. I think the reason why we shouldn’t read those stories first is because it will make us feel more confuse if we start to make our own judgement without knowing the right principles. Eventually it will take a much longer time for us to clarify the concepts.

After learning the narrating concepts and reading some stories which are written in different types of narrative ways, I think those skills can be applied in different situation. Firstly, if we are trying to let the readers have a strong sense of substitution we should use the first person narrator or the internal focalization because those methods are both using “I” as the subject for the story. By using this way of writing, readers can imagine themselves as the main character more easily. Secondly, if we try to let the plot decide everthing, we should use the third person narrator or the external focalization, both methods are like leading the readers to a cinema to watch a movie. The advantages are the story will have less limits. The writer is not restricted by “you” and “I” because when we using these two subjects as the mainstream, the story will immediately have a fixed character and a fixed way of delivering the messages which the writer wants their readers to think about. Without using “you” and “I”, we can create different characters and choose freely about what is that person responsible for.

Thirdly, in my opinion there is difference between second person narrator and zero focalization. When we try to talk to the readers directly we should use second person narrator. For example in the story “The grotesque”, in the beginning of the story the writer said “Stand with your legs apart. Bend forward all the way. Look back between your legs. Thank you.”  The Grotesque, István Örkény. From the content we can see that the writer is giving orders or talking to the readers directly. By using this methods, the writer can easily draw the attention from the reader and they will more likely to have a much better understanding about the story as the messages are directly sent to them. Last but not least, if we try to control everything in the story, we should definitely choose zero focalization, using this method can make sure that the plot is absolutely following our own idea, we don’t need to worry are the characters fit in there or not, we just have to express our own idea in our own way which the reader can also understand.


Narrative point of view mini-assignment

1. First person narrator                 

2. Second person narrator

3. Third person narrator                  

4. Zero focalization                           

5. Internal focalization                  

6. External focalization                    


1)    Writer’s Digest

6 Tips to Choosing the Right Point of View  by  Nancy Kress

(introduction about point of view)      fiction/6_tips_to_choosing_the_right_point_of_view

2)    NY Book Editors


3)    Annaberg Learner

Literature — Exploring Point of View

4)     The writepractice

The Ultimate Point of View Guide: Third Person Omniscient vs. Third Person Limited vs. First Person by  Joe Bunp

5)     Literacy Device

type, definition and examples        (<2016 January)

6)   Dummies

understanding point of view in literature   (Briefly introduce)

7)   What is the Internal Point of View

2006 Fordham Law Review volume 75, issue 3, pp 1157
8)   Plot and point of view in the Iliad

      1998,  Robert.J. Rabel
9)  Points of View: Salience

2010, Nature Methods, volume 7, issue 10, pp 773773, Bang Wong
10)   Point of View in Narrative Comprehension, Memory, and Production

1979, Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, volume 18, issue 2, pp 187198

[Second BLOG post] Rise the challenge!!!

The first week of being a HSMC freshmen has just passed. During this very first week, I had quite a lot of brand new experiences for example, lessons which are very different from secondary school, also a different way of learning. Beside that the biggest change for me has to be the timetable,  in secondary school every students in the same form follow an exact same schedule but in college it’s completely different, first we don’t need to arrive in school at a fix time, then lessons seems to be arranged randomly I must admit some time slot of lessons are interesting. Actualy I miss a lesson because of not checking the timetable. Secondly the lesson are different from what I have experienced, the learning style is different also I have never approach to most of the course before. Beside of the timetable, the lessons are also brand new to me because I need to approach different subjects that I have never heard about like the linguistic and literature lessons.

In the first week, it is quite hard for me to adapt because I need to check my timetable everyday night to make sure I am on time for lessons. Actually I miss a lesson because of not checking the timetable, I got up so late in that day that I couldn’t reach HSMC before the lesson end. I am disappointed to myself because I know this mistake won’t happen if I show more care to my timetable.

I also need time get used to the lessons, most of them had gone well. I found that poem studying is actually quite interesting other than that I think I am doing fine in Chinese and economics but linguistics has became a challenge to me. There are too many terms to remember and the pace of the lesson is high, it is hard of me to catch up in every linguistics lessons, I am always too busy to drop down some notes while the professor is already teaching another topic. In general, all of the lessons in HSMC are so different from what I am having in my secondary school. All my English lessons in secondary school focus on those exam skills but lectures and tutorials of HSMC have a completely different way of learning which contain more discussion and students are more encouraged to share their opinions in class. Personally, I enjoy this kind of lesson more because our opinions are mostly accepted by the professors unlike the teachers in secondary school who always remind us to follow the “model answer”. Other than the way of learning, I also think that all of the professors are awesome because they always encourage us to think and give us some useful tips all the time.

In conclusion, the courses are great and interesting it brings me a new point of view about learning. In the same time I don’t think I did everything right this week. My main problem is time management and my way of learning. Firstly I should be less careless of my timetable because I know attendance is important and it will directly affect my academic result.  I agree that some changes are needed to be made, for example I can print out a hard copy of the timetable and put it on an obvious spot in my room in order to remind me what lessons I am having everyday. Secondly I think the main reason why I feel hard to catch up in linguistics lessons is putting too much focus on dropping notes I always did it when I am a secondary school student and it is time to change it. I should be more focus on listening to what professor are trying to say in class. The main reason why this will help is because most of the notes I drop can be found in the powerpoint of the lesson and I am able to get access to the powerpoint even when I am in home so I should really try to understand the content while having lesson but not waste most of my time doing things that I can finish in home.

At last some say “The attitude determines the altitude”, I am glad that in the very beginning of my college life I can already see some problems and think of ways to improve. First I need to grow the sense of time management then I have to find a way to adapt the new learning style in class. Changes need time and I really hope make changes before it’s too late.




Response on Landow’s article

First of all in my opinion, the mainstream of professor Landow’s article is the canon. In the first paragraph he introduces the concepts of canon and told the fact that it is not easy to enter the canon. Then in the second, third and fifth paragraph he talks about privileges and benefits of entering the canon. In the last two paragraphs he mentions the idea of developing a new canon.

I am a new student to English literature, my knowledge to this area is limited. When I first read Landow’s article, it brought me a brand new point of view. I always have blur boundaries of literature I think every novels, poems, frictions, even article are counted as literature. To be honest I am quite shock when I approach to the concepts of canon, as Landow mention the use of canon is not just about defining what is great literature. The purpose are also giving those works privileges, the privileges “Gaining entrance clearly allows a work to be enjoyed”

Besides of shocking I also feel the canon is unfair to the works which are not able to enter the canon. In the article Landow mentions “failing to do so thrusts it into the limbo of the unnoticed, unread, unenjoyed, un-existing.” I understand that having a canon can help the public to understand what is good literature and what is not but I also think everyone have their own taste of literary works. The works which are outside the canon can still have it’s value to certain people. I think if the canon is too strict or it is not quite up-to-date for example people nowadays may not be as inspired by the works from Shakespeare as the people before, in this case the canon will lose it purpose. In my opinion the canon is set up for remind us what is good literature but not force us to follow old rules without improving.

At last I agree on professor Landow that canon is needed and too many categories of canon will cause confusion but I also think that it is unfair to say all the works outside the canon should not be enjoyed by the public. I think those gatekeepers should consider setting an appropriate canon so more good literary works can be enjoyed by the public.