Point of view plays an important role in story writing and the third person point of view is one of the prominent narrative voices used in narration.
The third-person point of view is also the favourite and preferable narrative voice of most of the renowned writers because of the narrative flexibility it provides to the authors, making the narrator of the story highly authoritative, reliable and trustworthy.
What is Third Person Point of View?
In the third-person narrative, the writers use an anonymous narrator who narrates the story from the point of view of a character within the story like in the popular Harry Potter book series by J. K Rowling where an unidentified and invisible narrator narrates the story from Harry’s point of view revealing his thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences to the readers.
- The story is narrated using third-person pronouns such as ”he”, ”his”, ”she”, ”her”, ”it”, ”they”, ”them”, or either directly referring to the characters by their names.
- The third-person narrative doesn’t require the narrator to be part of the story or a specific character from it.
- Writers can easily narrate the whole story without explaining to the reader anything about the narrator of the story or even his/her existence.
Understand the third-person point of from the below sentence examples-
Example – Eric thought he would easily forget Rebecca after their breakup, but he soon started missing her desperately.
(In this example the anonymous narrator is telling the story from the point of view of the character Eric, presenting his concerns, feeling, and emotions using the pronoun he and directly referring to the character by his name.)
Example – Sam was no longer interested in finding the treasure of his father when he found out that he had looted it from someone.
(In this example the narrator is presenting the point of view of the character, Sam, using the pronouns his, he.)
Types of Third Person Point of View
- Third-person limited point of view– In third-person limited narrative, an anonymous narrator narrates the whole story following one character’s perspective, most often the protagonist, the main character. This narrative is being called the third person limited as the reader is limited to the thoughts of only one character.
- Third-person omniscient point of view- In third-person omniscient narrative the narrator has complete access to all the character’s thoughts and feelings, he knows everyone and everything, and he knows what any character is feeling or thinking. The third-person omniscient narrator is sometimes referred to as the god-narrator because they tell the story from their own god-like perspective.
Examples of Third Person Point of View-
Below are the examples of popular novels and stories where the author used a third-person point of view as its narrative.
- Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J. K Rowling
”Harry moved in front of the tank and looked intently at the snake. He wouldn’t have been surprised if it had died of boredom itself…”Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
”He is just a young man ought to be, ”said she, ”sensible, good humored, lively; and I never saw such happy manners! -so much ease with such perfect good breeding!”.Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
”They all remembered, or thought they remembered, how they had seen Snowball charging ahead of them at the battle of the Cowshed, how he had railed and encouraged them at every turn, and how he had not paused for an instant even when the pellets from Jones’s gun had wounded his back.”Animal farm by George Orwell
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No wrong word Jonas thought. Frightened meant that deep, sickening feelings of something terrible about to happened.The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Yossarian put aside his musette bag from which he had begun removing his toilet articles and braced himself suspiciously. A minute passed. ”why” he found himself forced to ask finally.Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Related: What is First Person Point of View?