Point of view is a key concept in creative writing. Even when a story is not told in the first person, the action is generally seen through the eyes of one character at a time. Point of view may switch from chapter to chapter or scene to scene but it is important that it is consistent within each individual section. One way to look at it is the author borrowing a character’s eyes, brain and feelings to explain what is happening in the story.
This activity uses The Stepsisters’ Story by Kaye Umansky to develop understanding of point of view.
In The Stepsisters’ Story there are three points of view – Lardine’s, Angula’s and Cinderella’s. Lardine and Angula are Cinderella’s stepsisters. Lardine and Angula’s points of view never agree with Cinderella’s, and often they don’t agree with each other either – in fact, they both squabble about things the other has said.
Read from “I have to admit” at the bottom of Page 7 to the end of Chapter One.
The chapter is told from Lardine’s point of view. From Lardine’s point of view Lardine and Angula have very good manners, and Cinderella has bad manners and makes a fuss at the dinner table.
Very often the thing that makes The Stepsisters’ Story funny is that Lardine and Angula’s points of view are not the same as the reader’s point of view. Look for four pieces of evidence from pages 7 to 11 that Lardine and Angula have very bad manners indeed!
Write this section of The Stepsisters’ Story again from Cinderella’s point of view. Start with this sentence:
I couldn’t believe how much Lardine and Angula ate at tea-time…