Point of View Short Stories

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Throughout literature, writers pay specific attention to the point of view in which to tell their story. Determining the point of view is one of the first considerations an author makes when beginning to write. Writers choose the point of view that they believe will best convey their message. They are able to make this decision by considering: the story’s purpose, what the reader should become aware of and to alter the reader’s perception. Three different points of view were chosen for the stories, “A&P” by John Updike, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, and “The Story Of An Hour” by Kate Chopin. These three stories show us how each author achieves bringing their message across through the use of different points of view.

The story “A&P” is told in the first person point of view. Sammy the narrator and main character is a nineteen-year-old grocery store clerk at the local A&P. Since the story is told through his eyes, we learn the type of person he is and the man that he will become. We can see that Sammy is a dreamer by the way he fantasizes about Queenie and her life. We also see that Sammy has high expectations for his future because he pictures himself in Queenie’s home drinking drinks, “the color of water.” We get a complete sense of Sammy’s thoughts and feelings since the story is told from his perspective. The story would be less effective if it were told from any other perspective. Therefore, if the story had been told in third person omniscient, we wouldn’t be able to enter into Sammy’s head. This would prevent us from understanding his emotions. Most importantly, we wouldn't understand his sudden actions such as quitting his job.

In the story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates chooses a third person limited omniscient narrator. The narrator focuses the story on Connie and her experiences. Connie is a teenage girl...
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