Second Person Point of View: In literature, the way writing is being narrated is described as a point of view. There are three forms of point of view, namely, the first person point of view, the second person point of view, and the third person point of view. Each of these views is used for narrating a certain workpiece, and hence they must be chosen carefully.
Each of them has different ways of addressing the readers and affecting the thought process of the readers. In this article, the second person point of view will be discussed in detail.
There is various second person point of view poem and second person point of view passage, and the mention of those will also be included in this article.
Second Person Point of View in English
- Description of the second person point of view
- Uses of the second person point of view
- Advantages of second person point of view
- Disadvantages of second person point of view
- Certain tips for writing in second person point of view
- Examples of second person point of view
The second person point of view refers to a certain kind of the point of view where the audience is given a chance to become a character within the narrative. In this type of point of view, the pronouns you, your, yourself are used.
Even if we know that in this point of view, the narrator addresses the audience, in most of the cases, the narrator addresses one of the characters within the story. There are very rare instances of second person point of view novels since this point of view is mainly used for writing songs and poems.
The second person point of view is usually used for explaining things, providing directions, giving pieces of advice, etc. This type of view allows the narrator to connect with the audience by keeping their focus on the readers.
The second person point of view is used for writing different workpieces. Even though this specific point of view is usually avoided for writing non-fiction, there are instances where it is used. One must use second person point of view very creatively and smartly in non-fictions, and if done, it can give a compelling and unique perspective to the story.
The second person point of view is also used for writing self-help books. This view is used in video games where the game addresses the audience as a character and follows the commands of the audience. These games are very immersing since the audience finds themselves to be a character within the game.
For writing the lyrics of songs, this point of view is used very often. It helps the songwriter to connect to the listener by placing them as a character within the song. This allows the listener to feel the emotions of the song very intimately.
Provides the audience with a unique point of view
In literary fiction, authors mainly use the first person point of view and the third person point of view. Using the second person point of view gives the readers a very different perspective.
They get the opportunity of being one of the characters and also get involved with the other characters within the novel, and hence that creates a certain point of intimacy.
The novel Bright Lights, Big City by the author Jay McInerney allows the reader to be a part of a very fast-paced lifestyle within the city of New York.
Creates a very adventurous environment
Since using this point of view allows the writer to put the audience in a very different position, the reader also experiences adventure and action in a very realistic way. For example, in the children’s series that is known as Choose your Adventure, the reader is put in the driver’s seat, and they are given a chance to direct the entire plot.
Allows the reader to reflect and choose their path
In many writings where the second person point of view is used, the writer has provided the reader with the opportunity to reflect on the storyline and decide what is best for them. This point of view tries to convince the reader to do a specific thing by putting the reader in the shoes of a certain character.
It allows the reader to face a lot of situations and to reflect on emotions and decisions.
It might get overwhelming
Since the reader is referred to as a character of the workpiece, sometimes it might get very overwhelming for the reader. They might get too involved with the other characters and the emotions of the writing, and as a result, the space that the writer is asking the reader to fulfil might get too intimate and overwhelming for them.
Hence, it is better to maintain a certain distance between the characters of the writing and the reader.
The author might not get a chance to represent themselves
Finding a literary agent and securing the publishing deal is becoming harder every day. A huge number of writers are struggling to get their work acknowledged. Since the preference of using second person point of view is extremely low, one should avoid using it if they are a new writer as it might not turn out to be a good choice for their career.
It is more suited for short stories than novels
Writing an entire piece of the novel using the second person point of view might become extremely tiring and weary. It takes up a lot of energy, and one also has to be very careful while writing in the second person point of view since they might get distracted and start writing with their point of view instead of the characters.
On top of that, if the protagonist is someone unpleasant, then it becomes very difficult. But using second person point of view in short stories works much better. It remains unique, adventurous, and intimate.
- Go through the work of those who tried using second person point of view before you. The works are rare but not nonexistent. Look them up and refer to them for instructions.
- Stay conscious regarding the voice of the narrative since it is quite difficult to explain. The writer may often slip into their perspective while writing. For avoiding these, one must be very observant and think of the character and not about themselves.
- For avoiding stress or pressure, try using the present tense at all times. This allows the audience to connect more closely with the plot and make it seem like the entire story is happening in real and actual time. This also gives a sense of immediacy and intimacy to the readers.
- An entire novel written in the second person might turn out to be quite challenging for the readers. One may try and switch the point of view of the characters in between the novel to provide a breather for the audience.
Since the second person point of view can be quite intense, using it in between chapters can allow it to become a more pleasant read in future.
- If you are trying to write in the second person point of view for the first time, then go for a short story in the beginning. Even if the second person point of view is unpopular in novels, it is quite frequently used while writing short stories.
But then again, one must have a compelling reason for selecting the second person point of view while writing.
- John has planned a great surprise that you will never forget.
- For making lemonade, the basic things required are lemons, water, and sugar.
- Please don’t get up from your bed; you need enough rest.
- Erin Morgenstern’s fantasy novel that is a horror fairy tale uses second person point of view.
- The novel written by Tom Robbins, which includes a character named Larry Diamond, is entirely written in present tense using second person point of view.
- Songs like For No One, Tomorrow Never Knows, Captain Jack, etc., by singers like The Beatles and Billy Joel, respectively, completely use the second person point of view.
Therefore, to conclude, we can say that using second person point of view may always not be appropriate. One must find a compelling analysis for using the second person point of view since using it can turn out to be quite challenging for the readers.