Inquiring minds want to know: how does 3RD PERSON LIMITED compare to 3RD PERSON OMNISCIENT(covered in the last spoonful)? Read on and all will be explained.
The similarity is that both POVs refer to characters using names and the PERSONAL SUBJECT PRONOUNS he, she, and they. Both POVs are called 3RD PERSON because they don't use I or you.
Now for the distinction:
The 3RD PERSON OMNISCIENT narrator is all-knowing. The 3RD PERSON LIMITED narrator is NOT! This type of narrator can only see into one character's mind. For all other characters, this narrator can only relate what he or she observes. Is this narrator outside the story or is it really the character whose beliefs, attitudes, experiences, and perceptions skew the story's narration? You be the judge.
The 3RD PERSON LIMITED POV is the most difficult type to determine. As soon as you realize you're only learning how one character thinks, you know the book has this type of narration. Which character will it be? Most often, it will be the main character, but not always.
A wonderful example of the 3RD PERSON LIMITED POV is WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND by Elizabeth George Speare. Main character Kit is raised free as a bird in Barbados, but flees to Puritan Wethersfield, CT after the death of her grandfather. Is the narration skewed by Kit's upbringing? The answer is a resounding YES!!!!
Which POV does 3RD PERSON LIMITED most resemble? Stay tuned for next Sunday's spoonful, when the answer will be revealed.
Laura Fineberg Cooper
A Spoonful of Grammar