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  1. Rich, vivid, and lively detail;

  2. Word choices;

  3. flowery adjectives and adverbs to describe what is going on or how something appears;

  4. figurative language such as simile, metaphor, personification;

    • Similes use “like” or “as” to compare two things.

    • Metaphors imply the comparison of two things.

    • Personification gives human characteristics to nonhuman things, both inanimate and animal forms.

  5. showing, rather than telling through the use of active verbs and precise modifiers;

  6. using the five senses: smell, sight, sound, taste, and touch.


In the stories and poem you’re about to read,

  • find examples of descriptions;

  • explain the elements that make them effective.

Unit 5 Point of view

A story’s point of view is the angle or position from which a narrative is told.

The person whose point of view is used to relate the story is regarded as the narrator.

Narration usually occurs from the first-person or third-person point of view.

  • First-person point of view: the narrator is one of the characters and tells the story in his or her own words; uses the words I, me, we, and us; the reader only knows what the narrator knows and observes.

  • Third-person point of view: the narrator is not one of the characters (an outside observer) and uses the words he, she, it, they, and them; the three types of third-person point of view are limited, omniscient and objective/dramatic.

Third-person limited point of view focuses on the feelings and thoughts of one character;

Third-person omniscient point of view has an “all-knowing” narrator who can describe the thoughts and feelings of all characters (omni- means “all”);

Objective/dramatic point of view is when the narrator does not reveal the feelings and thoughts of any character; the narrator only records what is seen and heard; the reader can only infer what characters feel.

Some authors use multiple narrators. It is usually done in stories where it is important to get different characters’ views on a single matter.

An unreliable narrator is psychologically unstable; has an enormous bias; is unknowledgeable, ignorant, or childish; or, is purposefully trying to deceive the reader.

A naive narrator, being ignorant and inexperienced, is used in situations where the reader can draw more inferences about the narrator’s environment than the narrator.

Stream of consciousness gives the narrator’s perspective by attempting to imitate the natural flow of a character’s thoughts, feelings, memories, and mental images as the character experiences them. Often, interior monologues and inner desires or motivations, as well as pieces of incomplete thoughts, are expressed.


In the stories included in this unit, notice:

  1. who is telling the story (the narrator) and the point of view (the perspective from which the story is told);

  2. how the point of view affects our response to the story and its characters.

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