Point Of View In Saving Sourdi By May-Lee Chai

979 Words4 Pages
On this Earth, there are nearly eight billion people. Eight billion people with individual personalities, each with their own opinions and beliefs. With so many people in this world, we are bound to find someone we either disagree with or someone who interprets things differently. In Joyce Carol Oates’ short story “Hi Howya Doin”, readers are taken along on a morning jog with a husky young man as he greets those that he encounters on his way. Oates incorporates the literary element such as point of view in order to present the idea that everyone interprets and reacts to situations differently. The short story “Saving Sourdi” by May-lee Chai also includes the element of point of view to convey her idea that every person is different and it…show more content…
Every person the husky jogger comes across overthinks the gesture he is trying to make. They try to turn it into something more than it actually is. When in reality, he says the same phrase to everyone he passes, regardless of who they are.
The third-person point of view in “Hi Howya Doin” forces readers to experience more than just one single minded view of these characters. They get to see how each character reacts to and interprets the greeting rather than only seeing how one single person responds. This point of view reinforces the idea that each person interprets and responds to situations differently. None of the the people he had shared the same response to his hello. Each responded to it or perceived it in a way that was personal to them. If this short story were written in a different point of view, it would hinder the reader's comprehension of the theme.
In Chai’s “Saving Sourdi” the point of view is first person rather than third person. Instead of seeing how each character felt, readers saw how main character and narrator Nea viewed the world. We get a glimpse of her thoughts and how much they truly differ from those who surround her. An example of this occurs at the beginning of the story, in the family’s restaurant. The girls’ Ma was out, leaving just Sourdi and Nea out front with the customers. The only customers were a group of men, one of whom became aggressive with and too close to Sourdi. Nea did not

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