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How to write a text analysis | Point of view


Bei der Analyse eines Textes gibt es klare Richtlinien, an die sich zu halten sind.
Hier bekommt ihr eine Überblick darüber.

Point of view

Point of view refers to the way a story is told. The author selects a specific mode of presenting the characters, action, setting, and events of his narrative. The choice of the point of view or perspective normally entails the setting-up of a narrator as a mediator between story and reader; as someone who guides the reader and influences him in his reception of the text.
A classification according to his degree of insight would, therefore, appear to be most useful and relevant.
1. Omniscient or unlimited point of view
The narrator knows everything that has ever happened or will happen. He has a complete insight into his characters, their motivations, and feelings. He does not himself participate in the story, but views from outside, supplying his comments and evaluations and even directly addressing the reader from his vantage point. He is not obliged to adhere to the chronology of events, and can employ elements of flashback and anticipation to heighten the tension. He can also move freely among the different locations and events.
2. Limited point of view
The narrator is a protagonist in the story. He is restricted in his knowledge to what he can possibly know without violating the rules of probability. The function of narrating the story can also be split up between two or more characters in the text, who give different evaluations of the same events. This can also be achieved by means of letters and messages for example.
a) Central consciousness
The narrator is the main protagonist in the story. The events are told as he experiences them. The reader acquires an insight into the protagonist's state of mind, but not into that of the other characters. Everything is seen and evaluated according to its impact and effect on the consciousness of this leading character through those eyes the reader follows the course of events. In order to astablish an increasingly close relationship between reader and protagonist the latter's psyche can be revealed either in the form of reported thought (3rd person narrator, past tense), interior monologue (1st person narrator, complete sentences, logically structured and dealing with a coherent set of themes) or stream of consciousness (1st person narrator, violation of grammatically correct syntax structure; apparently erratic thoughts based on association).
b) Minor character
The narrator is an unimportant character who does not himself take an active part in the action but who views and evaluates everything from the stance of a witness on the periphery. Since his task is primarily to report, he is not fully characterized.
3. Eliminated narrator
Charactors, action, setting, and events are presented directly without the interference of a narrator. The characters reveal themselves through action and speech. They can comment on one another in their speech, but it is left to the reader to decide on the justification or legitimacy of these evaluations.

Useful phrases

1. The narrator |
views ... from a distance.
  stands back from the action and observers.
remains outside the plot, merely observing
2. His lack of involvement permits the narrator to maintain an analytical stance.
3. The narrator describes the action and characters objectively.
4. the story is narrated in the third person, and the narrator never surfaces.
5. There is no interference by the narrator throughout the next.
6. The narrator |
is not involved explicitly.
  is a thinly-sketched characters on the edge of the story.
7. The narrator |
plays a more active role in |
the text.
meddles in
intervenes in
pronounces judgement on
8. The narrator |
takes part in |
is involved in
is one of
cannot escape from
9. The narrator is simultaneously a central character in the story.
10. The story is told from the narrator's angle.
11. The fact that he is involved results in the narration being biased (tendenziös) and slanted (verengt).
12. Because the narrator participates in the plot his views are committed (=here: limited).
13. He describes the event from the point of view of ...
14.The narrator's attitude towards his/her material is ...
15. The events are viewed from a subjective angle.
16. The description is |
restricted |
to ...
17. The narrator's relation to the text is confined to ...
18. His views are as subjective as those of the others.
19. The narrator |
intends |
to |
influences |
the reader.
  wants   manipulate  
20. The narrator's introductory remarks also |
include |
deal with
refer to
21. The points of view in the text shift from character to character.
22. The intention of this narrative approuch is ...

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