Effects of Thirdperson and First Person

Topics: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Thought, Mind Pages: 3 (1197 words) Published: April 29, 2013
Effects of Third Person and First Person
Can the point of view in which a story is told really change its plot? When reading a story in the first person compared to the third person, one will have two different outlooks on the story. A story being told in the first person can be unreliable at points. It allows you to get inside the protagonists head and know what they are thinking, but you are only limited to their thoughts. While a story told in the third person gives you a little more freedom, you wont be limited to only one thought. “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson and “The Story of an Hour,” by Kate Chopin are both told in the third person, which creates an interesting twist. Conversely, two stories that make you think and wonder, because they are being told in the first person are “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “Cathedral,” written by Raymond Carver. When comparing these stories in the same point of view you will see similarities, but when you compare the stories with a different view point they all could have a different ending and story altogether.

Not knowing what the characters in the story are thinking while reading can draw you to different ideas. In “The Lottery,” for instances, the characters thoughts are never shown until the end. Throughout the story the reader begins to wonder what is going on and why the whole town is meeting is clearly shocking. To then later find out it is a ritual where a random citizen is stoned to death. For example, the narrator mentioned that, “The men began to gather; surveying their own children, speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes. They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed” (Anthology pg.243). When reading this you think that this gathering is not a big deal because being in the third person you don’t know what one is thinking, you can only observe. “The Story of an Hour,” has a similar...
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