This lesson introduces you to the concept of point of view, one strategy writers use to convey their meaning to readers. Aspects such as whether writers use the more subjective I or the more objective one, whether they address readers as you or merely refer to an anonymous they, influence how readers understand what the writer has written.
Ø Three Kinds of Point of View
When it comes to expressing point of view, writers can use three distinct approaches:
■ First-person point of view is a highly individualized, personal point of view in which the writer or narrator speaks about his or her own feelings and experiences directly to the reader using these pronouns: “I, me, mine; we, our, us”.
■ Second-person point of view is another personal point of view in which the writer speaks directly to the reader, addressing the reader as you.
■ Third-person point of view is an impersonal, objective point of view in which the perspective is that of an outsider (a “third person”) who is not directly involved in the action. There is no direct reference to either the reader (second person) or the writer (first person). The writer chooses from these pronouns: he, him, his; she, her, hers; it, its; and they, them, theirs. All these points of view are available to writers, but not all of them may be appropriate for what they’re writing, and only one will create the exact effect a writer desires. That’s because each approach establishes a particular relationship between the reader and the writer.
Ø Distance vs. Intimacy
Whether writers intend it or not (though they almost always do), the third-person point of view establishes a certain distance between the writer and the reader. There’s no direct person-to-person contact that way (me to you). Rather, with the third-person point of view, someone (or something) else is speaking to the reader.
The first-person point of view, on the other hand, establishes a certain intimacy between the writer and the reader. The writer uses I,my,mine, we, our, or us as if expressing his or her own personal feelings and ideas directly to the reader.
■ First-person point of view establishes intimacy. The writer wants to be close to the reader.
■ Third-person point of view establishes distance. The writer wants to distance him- or herself from the reader.
Ø When Writers Use Third Person
In a business environment, it’s not always practical to be personal. Though the first-person point of view may make the reader feel close to the writer, the firstperson point of view also implies a certain subjectivity. That is, the writer is expressing a very personal view from a very personal perspective.
Ø Subjectivity vs. Objectivity
There’s nothing wrong with expressing personal views, but in the business world, writers may not always be at an advantage using the first-person point of view. They’re more likely to be taken seriously when they’re objective, presenting things from an outsider’s point of view, than when they’re subjective, presenting things from their own possibly selfish or biased point of view.
■ Subjective: based on the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of the speaker or writer (first-person point of view).
■ Objective: unaffected by the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of the speaker or writer (thirdperson point of view).
You can see by now how important point of view is in writing, for each point of view creates a certain effect. Sometimes, it brings the reader and the writer closer together; sometimes, it pushes them apart. Sometimes, it makes an argument more convincing through third-person objectivity; sometimes, an argument is more convincing through second-person involvement; and sometimes, it’s more convincing through first-person intimacy. Writers choose their point of view carefully in order to create a certain relationship both with their ideas and with the reader.
NB: Tugas Reading Comprehension