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  1. marcusl

    marcusl Member

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    Third person limited's limitations

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by marcusl, Nov 28, 2009.

    I've been reading Mass Effect: Revelations. There's a chapter that's written in the third person limited perspective. The narrator is Saren, who belongs to an alien race known as the turians. Anyway, there's a line that read something like:

    "The human put his gun down, so the turian did as well."

    "The human" refers to a man named David Anderson. I can understand Saren referring to Anderson as "the human", since he is racist. But would Saren refer to himself as "the turian"? Or is the above sentence acceptable, since the story isn't written from a first person perspective? If it isn't acceptable, isn't third person limit's rules exactly the same as first person? I'd love to learn more about this. Thanks.
     
  2. KP Williams

    KP Williams Active Member

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    Saying "the turian" is a way to avoid saying Saren's name too many times in a short space of text. I've read Revelation, but I can't exactly recall that scene word for word. So I can't remember if Drew used Saren's name shortly before that particular sentence, but either way, I'd say it's certainly acceptable to say his race rather than his name. After all, he isn't actually the narrator unless it's written in first person, so it doesn't matter too terribly much how he would refer to himself.

    And besides that, it's for the sake of flow. Two people mentioned in the same sentence in the same terms. Makes sense to me.
     
  3. Kas

    Kas Contributing Member

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    It's more than acceptable. I like that sentence. It conveys the character's "racial awareness" without being overly overt. Third person isn't the same as first. Saren isn't referring to himself at all. A disembodied, unidentified "ghost" narrator is referring to him. TPL is like omniscient, but "zoomed in" up close, so the narration is limited to what the focus character is aware of.
     
  4. Phantasmal Reality

    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    I think that sentence says more about the character than the POV. Like someone else said, it's kind of a racial awareness thing, along with referring to himself in the third person (sort of). I personally find it a little awkward, but it's totally acceptable.
     

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