Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.
Definition of a Narrator
If we observe an accident, we are generally called upon to tell police officers what happened. Sometimes, we may have seen everything that occurred leading up to the accident and other times, our view of the accident may have been blocked by other cars, buildings, or trees. Another driver might have observed something totally different from their point of view or based on a number of different biases, such as if they know the individuals involved in the accident.
When we tell stories to other people, we do so in much the same way an author does when he or she writes a story. In any case, a story can change depending on who is telling the story and their knowledge of what takes place. Let's take a look at the definition of a narrator and the types of narrators a story can have.
A narrator is the person (or animal or object) who tells a story. A narrator is important because their biases and opinions can affect readers' overall opinion of the story. Each type of narrator tells a story from various points of view. Point of view refers to the perspective from which a story is told. A narrator typically guides readers and influences their opinion of a story based on perspective, which can include the first-, second-, or third-person perspectives.
An error occurred trying to load this video.
Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.
You must cCreate an account to continue watching
Register to view this lesson
As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.
Get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons.Try it now
Already registered? Log in here for accessBack
Types of Narrators
A first-person narrator uses the pronouns 'I' and 'we' and is usually a character in the story. A first-person narrator is able to interact with the other characters in the story, and readers observe those interactions from the narrator's perspective. For example, a story using first-person narration might say: ''I saw the birds all standing in the park before several dogs ran them off.''
A second-person narrator uses the pronoun 'you' to address the reader directly and is less common in literature. A good example of second-person narration is a recipe, which communicates instructions. It might say something like, ''First, you add the sugar and eggs and mix them together, and then you add the butter.''
A third-person narrator observes the story from the outside and uses the pronouns 'he', 'she', or 'they' to communicate the actions of the story. A third-person narrator is not a character in the story but is aware of the thoughts and feelings of characters in the story. A third-person narrator can be omniscient, having complete knowledge about all the characters in the story, or limited, knowing only about certain characters and events in a story. An example of a sentence spoken by a third-person narrator is: ''Joe and Jim both walked down the street until they reached the ice cream parlor.''
When an author writes a story, he or she creates a narrator, which is the person (or animal or object) who tells the story from a specific point of view. Narrators can tell the story from first-person, second-person, or third-person perspective.
A first-person narrator uses the pronoun 'I' to tell the story. A second-person narrator uses 'you' to speak directly to the reader and is not used very often in literature. A third-person narrator does not take part in the story and uses pronouns like 'he' or 'she'. A third-person narrator can also be omniscient (all-knowing) or limited (aware of only some parts of the story).
When you are finished, you should be able to:
- Explain what a narrator is
- Describe the different types of narrators
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack
Narrator: Definition, Types & Examples
Related Study Materials
Explore our library of over 84,000 lessons
- College Courses
- High School Courses
- Other Courses
- Create a Goal
- Create custom courses
- Get your questions answered