Understanding point of view video
Duration: 4 minutes 2 seconds
[Number 1 is the character Cinderella, Number 2 is the wicked step-sisters, Number 3 is the narrator. They are in a line-up with the number held against their chests.]
Chief – So, detective. Recognize any of these points of view?
Detective – Uh, I haven't read the book yet so, I don't know.
Chief – And you call yourself a point of view detective.
Detective - What about you? Do you recognize any of them?
Chief – I uh, haven't read the book either.
Detective – What?
Chief – Okay, shh! Let's just read the book and then we'll figure out whose point of view it is.
Detective - Uh Chief, shouldn't we figure out what a point of view is first?
Chief – Good point. Let's ask Drewy.
Detective – Who's Drewy?
Chief – He's like Siri, but he's called Drewy.
Drewy – Point of view is the position from which a text is designed to be perceived. In a narrative, it's who's seeing, thinking, and telling the story.
Detective – Okay, got it. Who's telling the story, let's go.
Chief – Ahem. The wife of a rich man fell sick and died, leaving behind a good pious daughter named Cinderella. By the next spring, the man would take another wife, with two daughters, who were black of heart. Now began a bad time for poor Cinderella. Is the girl to sit in the parlour with us? The wicked sister said.
Detective – The wicked step-sister spoke. It must be written from their point of view. Guilty! [shines a torch on Number 2]
Chief – Hold up, read on.
Detective – The father was once going to a fair and he asked Cinderella what he should bring back for her. Father, break off for me the first branch which knocks against your hat on your way home, said Cinderella. What? So now Cinderella's talking? Is it written from her point of view too?
Chief – Hang on, who's actually telling us the story? Yes, the two wicked stepsisters speaks. Yes, Cinderella speaks, but whose point of view is the story being told? And who's telling us is speaking.
Detective – Good point, let's look for clues in the language of the text.
[Image of text – She put on the dress with all speed and went to the wedding. Her step-sisters and the step-mother however did not know her, and thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought of Cinderella.]
Detective – Let's see, on this page, there are words like 'she' and 'her', see 'she put on the dress', and 'her stepsisters and step-mother'.
Chief – There are also words like 'they'. See, 'they never once thought of Cinderella'.
Detective – So third person words like she, her, and they tell us the story is written from an outsider's point of view. Someone not actually in the story.
Chief – But, who's not in the story? The step sisters are in the story.
Detective – And so is Cinderella. Oh, I've got it! The only person not in the story is
Detective and chief – The narrator! Guilty!
Chief – Ahem, step forward number 3. You have been identified as the point of view in the Cinderella book.
Narrator – Yes, I'm telling the story and I'm making Cinderella the heroine. So that you, as readers, can identify with her. It's Cinderella's story.
Detective – So is Cinderella guilty, too? Let's highlight her, too.
Narrator – I, the narrator, am telling the story. But the story is told through what the character Cinderella sees, thinks, and feels. So I, the narrator, am shining a light on Cinderella's point of view, the way she sees and experiences the world.
Detective – Step forward, number 1. You have also been identified as the point of view in the Cinderella book. Hey Drewy, anything else we need to know about a point of view before we take the narrator and Cinderella in? [speaks to the phone]
Drewy – Yes, the author chooses the text point of view to influence how we feel about what happens. Point of view plays a big role in the way we respond to texts. We can experiment with point of view to change how we see things in a text.
Chief – Ahem, right that down, detective. Might be useful for the narrator's and Cinderella's trial. Guys, bring in number 1 and 3 for questioning.
Cinderella and narrator –No, no please no!
End of transcript
English K-10 Syllabus © 2012 Copyright NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales.
English Textual Concepts and Learning Processes, and Related Syllabus Content © State of New South Wales, Department of Education, 2017 Learning and Teaching Directorate