The Point of Point of view

The Point of Point of View

Point of view is an essential element to consider when reading literature of any kind. How an author chooses to tell a story, directly affects how and what the reader sees and feels. Most authors write their stories with a certain point of view in order to keep the reader interested and to help them better understand the characters and their situations. In Truman Capote’s, "My Side of the Matter", and John Cheever’s, "Five-Forty-Eight", these reasons are the basis for their different points of view.
Capote’s, "My Side of the Matter, was written in subjective narrative. This means that the story is being told to a particular listener or group of listeners at the conclusion of an event. Most of the time the narrator isn’t looking at the situation objectively and as Moffett says, "seem unreliable, try to get us on their side, or assume values or views we don’t share" (p.179). Right away we become aware of this in the opening paragraph. There seems to be a sense of urgency for the narrator to tell the reader "the truth":
I know what is being said about me and you can take my side or theirs,
that’s your own business. It’s my word against Eunice’s and Olivia-Ann’s,
and it should be plain enough to anyone with two good eye which one of
us has their wits about them. I just want the citizens of the USA to
know the facts that’s all (p.189).
Already the reader is aware that this is a one sided story and that the narrator has certain biases’ towards certain characters. Which keeps the reader interested, wanting to read
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more to find out what happened, and to see if there is a justification for this narrator’s accusations.
The next thing that this particular point of view reveals is the narrator’s personal regrets, which is a ploy to get the reader to feel what he feels along with him in order for him to successfully get the reader into his shoes. He tells us the story but not without throwing in his two cents of how the whole situation could have been avoided. There seems to be a sense of great regret on the main characters part, which is clearly shown in a few passages. "It began six months ago when I married Marge. That was the first thing I did wrong" (p.189). "Well, we were married going on three months when Marge ups and gets pregnant; the second thing I did wrong’ (p.189). "George Far Sylvester is the name that we’ve planned for the baby…Only the way things stand I have positively no feelings in the matter now whatsoever"(p.192-3). The reader is now drawn into the story wondering how this man could regret such a thing as marriage and his new child on the way.
As the reader reads further along, the narrator’s hostility towards his wife’s aunts becomes quite evident. From the very first time the aunts are introduced, the reader gets a sense of what the young man’s life with these two women are like. The first aunt we learn to hate is Eunice. "The very first words Eunice said when I stepped inside this house were, ‘So this is what you ran off behind our backs and married, Marge?’" (p.191).
According to the narrator, though it is Eunice’s sister, Olivia-Ann who is the worst of all.
Olivia-Ann, who’s been standing there with her mouth so wide the flies

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could buzz in and out, says, "You heard what sister said. He’s not any
sort of man whatsoever. The very idea of this little runt running around
claiming to be a man! Why, he isn’t even of the male sex! (p.191).
The aunt’s constant attacks on his manhood and his feeling of helplessness against these two women is what the narrator uses to pull the readers to his side of the story.
The feeling the reader has for the narrator’s wife shifts from like to dislike along with the narrator. Even though in the third paragraph of the story the narrator tells us of his regrets of marrying her, her opening dialogue confuses the reader as to why he could feel this way. After her aunts violent attack on his manhood, she stands