Viewpoint Defined

WHEN the author is describing a character and writes, "Marvin hated three things: stale donuts, his wife's meatloaf, and Republicans," he is revealing the character's viewpoint. A character's viewpoint is the combination of his collective opinions, prejudices, tastes, and attitudes. His viewpoint defines how the character interprets the world. The character's viewpoint grows out of his particular sociology, physiology, and psychology.

Viewpoint also refers to what might be called the locus of narrative. The locus of narrative refers to where the narrator stands in relation to the characters: as an unseen eyewitness acting as objective reporter; as a sort of divine know-it-all, able to read the thoughts and feelings of the characters; or as another character in the story.

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