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