Point of View. It is a critical tool in the writer’s arsenal.
Point of view can best be described as: through whose eyes the reader sees the story unfolding.
There’s three sides to ever story, baby.
There’s yours and there’s mine and there’s the cold hard truth.
– Don Henley, from “Long Way Home”.
Point of view is what makes the reader empathize, maybe even sympathize, sometimes with the “bad” guy, making us feel like there is some good in him after all, that perhaps he is just misunderstood. Point of view is what makes the difference between a respected community leader and a power-hungry control freak.
As the words of the Don Henley song point out, the same event can be see differently through two people’s eyes. I am sure you have seen this in your life, pretty much any time you get into an argument with someone. In most instances, you are not good, nor are you evil – nor is your adversary. But who is right depends on a pretty subjective point of view.
Consider this short narrative, a eulogy…
It seems like just yesterday that she came into this world. She was so full of wonder, as everyone is at first. Full of energy. Full of excitement. Full of innocence. Buzzing around heedless of the world’s dangers.
She seemed so young. Indeed, she was. But her type tends to grow up fast. They have to. She had to. It’s who she was. It’s what she was.
She learned very quickly what it’s like to be hungry. Her type doesn’t have food just handed to her on a silver platter, you know. She had to go out and get it. And that can be a risky business.
The crazy thing is that there is so much food available. A surplus a hundredfold or more. But those who have it don’t want to share it with those who need it. They never do. They never have. Sadly, they never will.
So she took risks. She knew she had to. She knew that one day she would not return. She knew each day that there was a good chance – “good” being somewhat of an oxymoron in this case – that today would be that fateful day.
But eat we must, and so we much each take the risks necessary.
We all know how it ended. That’s why we are here. We are comforted to know that she went quickly. Painlessly. That she never even saw it coming. But she is gone – slaughtered in broad daylight for no more of a crime than being hungry. By someone who had an endless supply of food, but was simply unwilling to share, but willing to kill.
Smacked by a human!
Nobody ever tells the story from a mosquito’s point of view.