By this point, you will have responded to the POV document in Google Docs during Week 7. To refresh your memory (because hey, we’re all trying to remember a bunch of stuff we’ve read online, right?), the Google Doc had two examples of First Person and two examples of Third Person. (I’ve put the link in your email.)
We’re going to continue discussing POV with a few questions and an activity.
“The First Day” & “The Wife’s Story”
I’ve enjoyed reading your formal critiques of these stories, and, to continue our discussion of POV, I’d like to post some questions for you to consider Please respond to one of the three in the “reply” section of this post:
- “The First Day” is told in the First Person. Many of you commented in the Google Doc on POV that you felt the narrator was unreliable because of her age when the story happened. How about the narrator in “The Wife’s Story”? Do you feel the narrator is reliable or unreliable? Explain why!
- How would the story have changed if “The Wife’s Story” had been told in Third Person instead of First Person? Explain your answer.
- Why do you think Le Guin used the First Person to tell the story?
While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.Dorothea Lange
Dorothea Lange was an American photojournalist. She might be best known for the “Migrant Mother” photograph. As a photographer, she certainly knew that POV can change in an instant, depending on who’s behind the camera and what story they are trying to tell.
For the past several weeks, we’ve been practicing the genre of memoir. In our first piece, we took an object and explained how it affected our lives and/or showed a part of our personalities. The second piece shared either a memory of when we felt “anonymous” or another moment in our lives that we felt was significant. In both pieces, we were “behind the camera.” We were telling our stories with our spin–our POV.
Now we’re working on our first short story in Third Person. We’re still behind the camera, but we must imagine the story from a POV that is different from “I.” And if the narrator is no longer “I,” the story we tell may (or may not) change.
We’re going to do a short exercise. We’ll look at a picture and write mini stories about the picture (150-300 words). Please post your story under Student Work: Assignment Posts.
I’ve divided the class into three groups and emailed the pictures to each group: Picture A, Picture B, or Picture C. Please take 15-20 minutes and do the following (seriously, set a timer for this activity):
- Look at your picture.
- Write a short (very short) story in the Third Person about the picture (again, 150-300 words).
- Answer the following questions in your story and post it under Student Work: Assignment Posts. Title it: Full Name, POV Story (DO NOT write whether you have used Picture A, B, or C anywhere in the post):
- Who is involved?
- What is happening?
- Why is this happening?
- When did this happen?
- Where did this happen?
Here’s an example:
Evelyn and Maria are sisters. They’ve never spent more than a day apart. Neither of them drive anymore–Evelyn’s eyesight is pretty bad and Maria’s is even worse. Each Saturday, one of their grandchildren drives them to the supermarket so they can buy groceries. Evelyn sits up front because she’s a better navigator than Maria. Maria comments on the grandchild’s driving skills. The sisters often argue with one another about their purchases on the way home. Evelyn thinks that Maria buys too much red meat and Maria thinks Evelyn buys too much vodka.
(Obviously, many different stories could be drawn from this picture, but that’s what I wrote in about eight minutes.)
Please note: Your picture will be different from the Example Picture!
Have fun with this–answer the questions in your story as best you can! We’ll see how many different stories can be drawn from these pictures!
All the due dates and extra details for the week on the Assignment page for Week 8. Please check there for that information.
Come to an Office Hour if you’ve got questions!