NARRATIVE PERSPECTIVE IN THE NARRATIVE WRITING OF SEVENTH GRADERS (STORIES, POINT-OF-VIEW, CHILDREN)

TIMOTHY MICHAEL MURPHY, Fordham University

Abstract

This study examined narratives written by ten seventh graders. Each subject wrote three narratives, each in a different narrative perspective: omniscient, first person narrator, and third person limited narrative perspectives. The purpose of the study was to analyze the effect of perspective on narratives. The aspects of narrative which were analyzed were plot, character, setting, and integrating structure. Narrative perspective itself was also analyzed.^ Third person limited tended to restrict narratives to a single plot problem. Dangerous situations were the most common plot problem, appearing most frequently in the omniscient and first person narrator points of view. Regarding distancing, the first person narrator brought about the most identification between author and main character and omniscient, the least.^ Three distinct kinds of structures emerged which were named antonymity, which was a relationship of contrast or opposition between narrative elements; synonymity, which was a relationship of similarity between narrative elements; and metonymity, which was a relationship of part to whole, the whole being an act and the parts being the components of act such as agent, motive, consequences, etc.^ These narrative structures generated three kinds of narrative meanings: theme, impact, and participation. Antonymity produced a meaning which could be represented in a statement of theme. Synonymity produced a narrative of impact which generated a single feeling or emotion. Metonymity produced a narrative of participation in which the plot involved the supplying of missing components of act such as the perpetrator of a crime.^ The omniscient point of view produced the most narratives of theme. The first person narrator produced the most narratives of participation. The third person limited produced the most narratives of impact. Each of these three integrating structures affected differently the identification of author and narrative. Antonymity brought about the least identification. Metonymity brought about the most identification of author with the main character and the concrete narrative situation. Synonymity brought about the most emotional involvement.^ The reason for these different influences of narrative perspective is hypothesized to be that each narrative perspective structures time and space differently and thereby affects the author's distancing of self from narrative events. ^

Subject Area

Language arts|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

MURPHY, TIMOTHY MICHAEL, "NARRATIVE PERSPECTIVE IN THE NARRATIVE WRITING OF SEVENTH GRADERS (STORIES, POINT-OF-VIEW, CHILDREN)" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8600097.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8600097

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