Narrative Perspective – First/Third Person POV

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Exercises

Decide whether these literary extracts are written from a first or third person point of view.

  1. He shuddered, and for a moment he regretted that he had not told Basil the true reason why he had wished to hide the picture away. Basil would have helped him to resist Lord Henry's influence, and the still more poisonous influences that came from his own temperament.
    – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray narrator uses third person pronouns he/his/himself → third person perspective
  2. Possibly, some people might suspect him of a degree of under-bred pride; I have a sympathetic chord within that tells me it is nothing of the sort: I know, by instinct, his reserve springs from an aversion to showy displays of feeling—to manifestations of mutual kindliness.
    – Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights narrator uses first person pronouns I/my/myself → first person perspective
  3. It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire.
    – Edgar Allen Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart narrator uses first person pronouns I/my/myself → first person perspective
  4. I ate everything that caught my eye, because I felt that nothing but eating would take away my illness. The oysters had a terrible look in their eyes and were loathsome. I shuddered at the thought of them, but I wanted to eat! To eat!
    – Anton Chekov, Oysters narrator uses first person pronouns I/my/myself → first person perspective
  5. She met Candide on reaching the castle and blushed; Candide blushed also; she wished him good morrow in a faltering tone, and Candide spoke to her without knowing what he said.
    – Voltaire, Cadide narrator uses third person pronouns he/his/himself → third person perspective
  6. “Kindly look her up in my index, Doctor,” murmured Holmes without opening his eyes. For many years he had adopted a system of docketing all paragraphs concerning men and things, so that it was difficult to name a subject or a person on which he could not at once furnish information. In this case I found her biography sandwiched in between that of a Hebrew rabbi and that of a staff-commander who had written a monograph upon the deep-sea fishes.
    – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia narrator uses first person pronouns I/my/myself → first person perspective
  7. He was about twenty-six years of age, with a soft, light brown moustache and rather innocent-looking grey eyes.
    – James Joyce, After the Race narrator uses third person pronouns he/his/himself → third person perspective
  8. Yet those who approached Dorothea, though prejudiced against her by this alarming hearsay, found that she had a charm unaccountably reconcilable with it. Most men thought her bewitching when she was on horseback. She loved the fresh air and the various aspects of the country, and when her eyes and cheeks glowed with mingled pleasure she looked very little like a devotee.
    – George Eliot, Middlemarch narrator uses third person pronouns she/hher/herself → third person perspective
  9. She had taken everything else from him; and now she meant to take the one thing that made up for all the others. For a moment such a flame of hate rose in him that it ran down his arm and clenched his fist against her. He took a wild step forward and then stopped.
    – Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome narrator uses third person pronouns he/his/himself → third person perspective
  10. I thought he was criticizing me for something and I started to explain. But he cut me off. "You don’t have to justify yourself, my dear boy. I’ve read your mother’s file. You weren’t able to provide for her properly.
    – Albert Camus, The Stranger narrator uses first person pronouns I/my/myself → first person perspective

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