The Third Person Interior
The exercises which follow will attempt to define several third person points of view. Although what is meant by "third person" may seem obvious, I going to take a few sentences to define my terms.
A third person narrative excludes the narrative "I." Here is a sample sentence.
Paul was tired of explaining this over and over again.
Here is the same sentence in the first person with the narrative "I."
I was tired of explaining this over and over again.
Keep in mind, I am talking here of the entire narrative, not simply a single sentence.
Paul was tired of explaining this over and over again. He wanted to go on to something more interesting. But some of his students persisted in misunderstanding him. This he attributed not to stupidity, but to limited experience, especially in reading.
The moment the narrative "I" enters the text--
This he attributed not to stupidity, but to limited experience, especially in reading. I sometime thought he would never move on.
--we are right back where we started, in the first person, but NOT in Paul's ont of view.
With that cleared up, let us move on.
In the The Third Person Interior the story is told "through" the third person "narrator."
MR. MARTIN BOUGHT the pack of Camels on Monday night in the most crowded cigar store on Broadway. It was theatre time and seven or eight men were buying cigarettes. The clerk didn't even glance at Mr. Martin, who put the pack in his overcoat pocket and went out. If any of the staff at F & S had seen him buy the cigarettes, they would have been astonished, for it was generally known that Mr. Martin did not smoke, and never had. No one saw him.
The above is the first paragraph from Thurber's The Catbird Seat. The entire story is written in Mr. Martin's point of view. The story concludes with this lines, still in Mr.Martin's point of view.
"I regret that this happened," said Mr. Fitweiler. "I shall ask you to dismiss it from your mind, Martin." "Yes, sir," said Mr. Martin, anticipating his chief's "That will be all" by moving to the door. "I will dismiss it." He went out and shut the door, and his step was light and quick in the hall. When he entered his department he had slowed down to his customary gait, and he walked quietly across the room to the W20 file, wearing a look of studious concentration.
Okay? Now let's try it.