How does the point of view expose itself during a memory?
The urge to create empathy with a character. To be on his or her level while watching an event that is happening is a desire to step out of the angle of hanging above or observing from a distance.
A scene I wrote about an event with my family.
Memory of the ship accident
I was ten years old. I was on a sofa watching television. Probably ‘Totally Spice’. It was almost summertime. My mother was also at home. I was a little bit cranky because my father had not allowed me to go sailing with my sister and her friend. It was a very long time before they returned and I wasn’t so busy and angry anymore. I probably found something else to play with beside my ‘Totally Spice’ addiction. The moment I saw the car stopping in front of my house, I jumped and probably said something like: ‘Mom, they are back’. First, I saw my sister. Her hair was wet. Then I saw her friend. Her hair was also wet and their clothes too. My father was the last to come out of the car, also in wet clothes. I felt that something was wrong. Probably I said something like: ‘Mommy, it’s not good. Something has happened’. The three of them entered the house. My sister’s friend was crying, and my sister as well. I also started to cry because I saw my father crying. Then, I knew something was wrong. I ran from the living room to them. They were standing in the hallway. My mother took my father into another room. They got dry clothes and then my father told the story. They had been hit by a big cargo ship. Everybody had to jump overboard. My father almost died. He had to swim under the big ship. My sister was also almost hit. Only her friend swam in the right direction. I was afraid because my father was crying. Fathers are strong and this wasn’t my strong daddy. Evening , I’m in my pyjamas. I have just showered. My sister is sitting behind the computer. She is on MSN messenger. I don’t have MSN yet. Too young for it, my mom thinks. She is chatting with the friend and to a lot of other people. Then I see the friend’s tagline on the screen: ‘I almost died’, it says. I felt it was weird that it was in her MSN tagline. I felt jealous. I cannot stop feeling jealous. My sister tells me to go away and to play somewhere else.
What is realised after noticing the point of view in this text is that the point of view comes from a very clear social role. The role of being in a daughter position and observing her father. The father is clearly not acting as he should act, and therefore the daughter is getting confused. The construction of the family is quivering, and for a moment the rules and expectations are in a grey area.
This small example of talking from the perspective of a daughter – a social role – became highly interesting. In particular, that there is a moment of awareness that you have a social role within a family. I would like to see this as a moment of awareness of your point of view in the mise-en-scène of the moment.