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First-Person Point of View Definition

First-Person Point of View Definition

In literature, first-person point of view happens when the narrator is one of the story characters and speaks about the events from a private perspective, using “I” or “me”.

In other words, if the story is happening to the narrator, it’s first-person point of view.

For example, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins opens like so:

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim`s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the Reaping.

The narrator is Katniss Everdeen, who is also the hero of the story.

Another example is from the opening of A Study in Scarlet, a Sherlock Holmes novel:

In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the army. Having completed my studies there, I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as Assistant Surgeon. The regiment was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out.

Here, the narrator is Dr. Watson, while the hero is Sherlock Holmes. But Dr. Watson still takes part in the story; the events he reports happen to him, too, and he uses the first-person (“I” and “me”) to describe them. That makes the novel a first-person point of view. 

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First Person Point of View

  • Feb 22, 2016
  • 5 min read

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