Literally, where you see from. Your perspective - this takes into account more contextual information - not only what level your eyes are at but who you are, how much you earn, if you are a minority citizen, etc.

The ingenious book The Phantom Tollbooth is filled with little cunundrums and happenstances that demonstrate various aspects of everyday reality to prove a point.
Anyway, one such thingie is a boy Milo comes across who stands in midair at about Milo's waistline. He explains to Milo that rather than growing "up", his kind grow "down" as they get older, until their feet eventually reach the ground.
Milo soon realizes the unfortunate reality of such a life; the fact that the boy's head is at the same height all his life means his point of view never changes. Although he first envied this boy he came to pity him because he learns that never being able to change one's 'point of view' causes such limitations to a person's ability to experience and understand life as they grow.

Also known as POV. The filmic convention designed to show what a character is seeing.

At its most basic, the POV convention consists of two shots: point-glance and point-object. Point-glance is a shot of the character (or characters) who's POV we are showing. In this shot we see the character giving some indication that he or she is seeing something.

Point-object is a shot of what said character is seeing, whether it be animal, mineral or vegetable (or the dark depths of Hell, for that matter). Generally, the point-object is framed in such a way as to match the eye-line of the character, although this is not always the case.

There are many variations on the POV convention. In Carl Theodor Dreyer's film, Vampyr, there is a scene with a traditional point-glance/point-object set-up, except that the character from the point-glance walks into his own point-object!

A more common variation is the elimination of the point-glance altogether. This is very common in horror films. Instead we have one continuous (generally moving) shot, putting the audience in the position of the unseen point-glance. (SEE The Evil Dead Trilogy, An American Werewolf in London, Alien 3) This technique was taken to whole new heights in Kathryn Bigelow's cyberpunk thriller, Strange Days. A central element of the plot is a strange technology that enables people to attach a device to their heads and record everything that the say, think & feel. The disks from these devices are sold on the black market. Throughout the film, there are entire scenes that appear to be one shot, all from the POVs of people doing various things (robbing a Chinese restraunt, having sex, raping & killing, etc.).


Other Literary Concepts:
Characterization | Alliteration | Repetition | Irony | Connotation | Plot | Personification

The point of view (POV) is how the narrator is situated in the plot. There are three kinds of POV. They are

Here are some examples of writing in different POVs. The pronouns relating to the POV are italicized:

  • First Person: I went to the store. I bought some cheese. I saw my cheese turn into a flying pig. I said that that pig was mine.
  • Second Person: You went to the store. You bought some cheese. You saw your cheese turn into a flying pig. You said that that pig was yours.
  • Third Person: Bob went to the store. He bought some cheese. He saw his cheese turn into a flying pig. Bob said that that pig was his.

Most stories are return in first or third person. As I previously mentioned, second person is a very uncommon POV. The Choose Your Own Adventure books are written in 2nd person.

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