Examples Of Different Points Of View: Literary Devices

Points of view or POVs are essential to English. It tells the reader or audience who is speaking or narrating a story. Think of it as the eye of a story. Any story can be told in the first-person point of view, second-person, or even third-person point of view, and getting it right can be tricky. If it's wrong, it could sound weird, and the flow might be off.

Some writers will also work with different POVs throughout one story or piece of work, though if done incorrectly, the reader or audience might get very confused about who is speaking!

Today we're going to review different examples of point of view and define how each POV functions and when you can use them.

Let's begin!

Point of view examples

First-Person Point Of View

The person's point of view is used when the main character or protagonist is telling the story, giving the audience a front-row view of the action; think of it as going on a journey with the reader.

With this POV, we use the following pronouns:

  • I
  • We
  • Me
  • Us
  • Ourselves
  • Myself
  • Our
  • Ours

The first-person POV is used in many different ways and functions, depending on the type the writer chooses.

First-Person Central

In the first-person, central narrative, the writer wants the narrator also to be the main protagonist or central character. The character is telling their personal story. So, think of it like getting to know the character inside and out. This example of the first-person point of view is often used in autobiographies.

A great example of the first-person central point of view in Fiction would be,

The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, a young boy who lives in Afghanistan during a turbulent time. Amir is both the protagonist and the central character, and the book goes through his life from his perspective up to adulthood. 

Example Sentences In The Central First Point Of View

  • I like walking on the beach. The feeling of the fresh air and breeze always fills me with happiness.
  • Our daughter is traveling at the moment. I'm not sure when we'll see her again.
  • If it was up to me, I'd never go again.
  • I don't want to go to school, so I think I'll go to the mall instead.
  • We didn't want to miss the bus, so we ran as fast as we could.

First-Person Peripheral

In the peripheral first-person POV, the character narrating the story is not the main character or protagonist - they are typically close to the central character.

Another fantastic example of the first person point of view but in peripheral would be,

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In his novel 'The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses Nick to create a barrier between the audience and the protagonist, Gatsby. Nick acts like an observer and reports on what he sees and what reflections he has. In this way, Fitzgerald adds to the secrecy surrounding the Gatsby character.

Example Sentences In The Peripheral First Point Of View

  • I always looked up to my dad and always felt so proud of him.
  • Our generation would be so lucky to have a mom like mine.
  • I wish I had known about his problems; if I had, I could have helped him.
  • Our opinion isn't necessary. We only wish to tell you about what's happening with her.

Second-Person Point Of View

The second-person point of view is used when the speaker or writer wants the audience to be involved and part of the story. This POV isn't used often in fictional writing. However, it's used more frequently in informal speech and general conversation.

With the second-person point of view, we often see the following pronouns used:

  • You 
  • Yours

This POV is used for:

  • Children's books, especially when the reader is involved in the story. Choose your own adventure books or pick your adventure books often use the second-person POV.
  • Creating an immersive experience for the reader.
  • Advertising when creating a 'call to action' from the customer to sell a product.
  • In everyday conversation, when involving someone else in a story.

Example Sentences In The Second-Person Point Of View

  • You must buy this!
  • You were up late last night, and now you're going out to play!
  • If you were to study more, I'm sure you would succeed.
  • If you had a choice, where would you choose to go?

Third-Person Point Of View

The third-person point of view is used when a writer or speaker refers to someone else. This POV is mainly used when they want to tell the audience something about someone that they haven't directly been a part of themselves. Think of it like a recounting of events or an outsider looking in.

With this POV, we normally use the following pronouns:

  • Her
  • His
  • Theirs
  • Himself
  • Herself
  • It
  • Itself
  • Its
  • Themselves

Like the first-person point of view, the third-person POV also has a few different functions.

Third-Person Omniscient

The third-person omniscient narration is used when the writer or speaker wants the audience to be involved in understanding all aspects of a character or characters. The omniscient narrator is all-seeing and hearing; in this case, you'll often have a few different characters narrating at different moments. This POV can be gender neutral or gender specific.

Example Sentences In The Third-Person Omniscient Point Of View

  • Liza took out her pencil as the class settled down, and Tina secretly wished for the bell to ring so she could go home.
  • The day was drawing to a close; Tom sunk into the couch and turned on the T.V, Bob took out his Ipad, and Fran walked through the front door.
  • Dana wondered if her friends were coming, while Hannah was worried she wouldn't make it on time as she sat on the bus to work.

Third-Person Multiple

With the third-person multiple POV, the reader is taken along the story, getting lots of information about different scenes in a story written from the point of view of many characters. You'll often see this POV used when a story is multi-faceted and has different character chapters.

Example Sentences In The Third-Person Multiple Point Of View

  • Jess was looking forward to leaving the classroom; she had been a teacher for many years. The school was looking for a replacement and couldn't find anyone.
  • Kiera knew how much work she had been putting in; she just didn't realize how much she was suffering. Jane had had enough and would quit as soon as she found something else.

Third-Person Limited

The third person limited point of view is used when a writer or speaker only wants the audience to gain information about one character's thoughts.

Example Sentences In The Third-Person Limited Point Of View

  • He thinks that he's the best soccer player on the team. If only he could see he was actually quite bad and should take up another hobby.
  • She walked across the road as quickly as possible, the streets were dark, and she didn't feel comfortable walking alone.

Tips and Tricks For Using Point Of View

  • Decide which point of view you want to use and what the purpose of your choice is.
  • Read many books from different viewpoints, so you can see how they're used.
  • Be careful when swapping and interchanging the point of view you've chosen. If you choose too many in one text, it can sound disjointed.

And there we have it, examples of point of view just for you! Check out our other literary devices. We've got tons of tips, tricks, and learning tools for you to discover.

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