Friday, August 26, 2011

Second Person Point of View

Connye Griffin is My Writing and Editing Coach

Student: Ya know how when you forget to do your homework and your teacher has an attitude about it? Well, you probably just show her what you think about that raised eyebrow by raisin’ one of your fingers in salute!

Me: No, I don’t know about forgetting to do my homework or failing to meet any other deadline because either I do what needs to be done, no matter how much sleep or fun I lose, or I admit my error. And, even though that raised eyebrow might irritate me, I still wouldn’t burn bridges or risk more consequences by saluting with any of my fingers.

The brief conversation above illustrates what’s wrong with second person POV, especially these days. Countless speakers, at least in the U. S., shift responsibility away from themselves to the amorphous and ubiquitous “you.” Instead of telling a personal story using first person POV, the speaker skips sideways and tells HIS OWN story about “you” as if you have done or will do the same.

The reply illustrates that “you” has been misplaced. The person listening does not have the same opinions or attitudes, and she doesn’t commit the same actions as the speaker.

The reply also illustrates one of the worst uses for second person POV currently in vogue. Avoid it! Start thinking about what you’re saying when you find yourself using “you.” Does the word truly apply to the person to whom you write or speak?

Some uses of “you” are very appropriate. One use is when giving a command. For example:

• Shut the door.
• Pick up your coat, please.
• Buy tickets at the door.
• Complete step 1 before attempting step 2.


Each of these has an implied or understood subject for the verbs “shut,” “pick,” “buy,” and “complete.” In other words, each of these sentences could be written as:

• You shut the door.
• You pick up your coat, please.
• You buy tickets at the door.
• You complete step 1 before attempting step 2.

Another excellent use for second person POV is when giving instructions
.

In order to make the perfect peanut butter sandwich, assemble the following items:

1. One sandwich plate.
2. One table knife.
3. 2 slices of white, wheat, all-grain, or gluten-free bread.
4. A jar of peanut butter, the brand of your choice, smooth or crunchy. (You may also substitute cashew, almond, or other nut pureed and even Nutella.)

Place one slice of bread on the plate. Open the jar of nut spread and set the lid aside. Pick up the knife and dip it into the jar to extract about one tablespoon of spread. With the knife, smear the peanut butter onto the surface of the bread from edge to edge. You may use the knife to gather more spread and add it until you have the quantity desired. When you have finished spreading the butter on the first slice of bread, put the knife into the sink or dishwasher after rinsing it well, replace the lid on the jar of butter, put the sealed jar back on the pantry shelf, and place the second slice of bread on top of the first slice, now spread with peanut butter. You may eat at will.

Some people prefer to eat peanut butter sandwiches without crusts. In this case, place the second slice of bread on top of the spread before retiring the knife to be sterilized, then cut off the crusts, saving them to make salad croutons or to feed birds. You may also throw away the crusts.

Some people enjoy jam or jelly with their peanut butter. In this event, rinse the knife before inserting it into the jar of jam or jelly, then spread the quantity desired across the nut butter before placing the second slice of bread over the sandwich fillings.

Some people enjoy sliced banana, crisp bacon, and other sundry additions to their peanut butter sandwiches. Some have even reported crumbling potato chips on top of the nut spread before closing the sandwich with the second slice of bread.

Finally, many people like to cut their sandwiches into two triangles by slicing diagonally across the bread. Others like rectangular cuts, made by using the knife to slice across the midline vertically or horizontally. A few people prefer four evenly sized sandwiches made by slicing the bread across the midline vertically and horizontally.


In the example above, a self-reported peanut-butter sandwich expert has delivered step-by-step instructions to an audience of “you.” Whether directing one other person or a large crowd, the writer writes to “you” so that you can follow the directions and succeed.

Published authors occasionally use second person POV just as the miscreant student did in my opening example and for the same reason. The author wants you, the reader, to identify with the actions and thoughts of the character. He wants you to relate to his character and subject matter more intimately. One such book is Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerny.

Jeffrey Eugenides speaks directly to readers occasionally in his Pulitzer-prize winning novel, Middlesex, addressing the reader as “dear reader” or “you.” This is comparable to moments in plays and films when the character breaks the “fourth wall,” the invisible one that allows audiences to spy upon the actions of the characters, in order to speak directly to the audience. Mel Brooks makes use of such direct addresses to comic effect.

Few works of fiction employ second person, however. Its best use is in non-fiction because “you” (the reader or listener) is not the same person with the same motives or history as any other person or character. Such misattribution merely confuses rather than clarifies.

Reading Challenge:

Read all or part of Bright Lights, Big City to distinguish second-person POV from first and third.

Writing Challenge:

Write an over-the-top, extremely detailed set of instructions for an activity (making food, washing a load of towels in an automatic washer, putting on a coat, etc.). Try to think of all tangents, contingencies, requirements, and possibilities, then order them clearly.

Grammar, Usage and Mechanics (GUM):

I had a brief run as a proofreader while teaching seniors. Schools labor to print every seniors’ name correctly—just as it appears on each senior’s birth certificate—so that the diploma and the Commencement program will be keepsakes that make students and parents proud. I noticed that the secretaries charged with typing the lists ignored diacritical marks (accents that guide pronunciation and become part of correct spelling) or simply added a stray apostrophe, hoping that it might suffice.

Allow me to show you what I mean:

• Student Name Correctly Spelled: Desiré René Umlaüt
• One Type of Error: Desire’ Rene’ Umlaut
• Another, More Common Error: Desire Rene Umlaut

What the secretary did not know is what many keyboard users do not know: the use of symbols. In Word, simply choose “Insert” from the top horizontal ribbon of drop-down menus. Once you see the menu, choose “Symbol,” then search the available symbols and special characters for what you need. Be sure your cursor is ready and poised at the point of insertion, then click on the symbol to highlight or select it, click on the box labeled “Insert,” and finally, click on the box labeled “Close.” You will have inserted the correct diacritical markings to spell the name correctly.

A word that Word automatically marks for keyboard users is “café.” Just type it and move on to the next letter or punctuation mark. An accent will appear for you. Other words that Word will handle for you are cliché, protégé, and fiancé. Just type each word without the accent mark and when you move on to the next character, an accent mark will have magically inserted itself.

Other words such as resume do not automatically insert the correct accents. Word seems to have decided that two accents in one word is two too many so it adds none. Nevertheless, when you submit a resume for employment, you should spell it correctly: résumé. To do so, use the method I described above: choose “Insert,” then “Symbol,” etc. or you can take advantage of “Tools.” Spell “résumé” as “resuma,” highlight it, and choose “Spelling and Grammar” under “Tools.” Word will provide you with résumé so that you can click “Change”—and change to the correct spelling.

Word will also add diacritical marks for naïve and piñata, but not for noel and nino. The first, noel, is easily read without the mark, but nino may look like a typographical error without one. Simply insert from the Symbol menu to write naïve and niño. For this last word, a Spanish one for child, especially a boy child, the Word dictionary includes Niño as in El Nino, the climate phenomenon, but not niño, the word for child.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Third-Person Limited Narrators

A well-known, widely read American novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is an excellent example of today’s subject: third-person limited point-of-view. Nick Carraway, the narrator, knows little about the people with whom he interacts. He can only tell us what he is told by others, what he witnesses, and what he experiences.

Daisy Buchanan is a relative of Nick Carraway; her husband, Tom, a Yale classmate of Nick. Still, however friendly the three have been, no matter the number of times they have socialized, they remain distant, reserved. When the novel begins, Nick is unaware that Tom cheats on Daisy, that Tom is capable of striking a woman, or that Tom plays with a man’s hope for economic relief as easily as he plays a practice round of golf. Nick also does not know that Daisy was once courted by Jay Gatsby, the titular character, or that Gatsby attached himself to gangsters in order to acquire wealth sufficient to draw Daisy back to him. These facts unfold as the novel progresses, and we, the readers, learn them as Nick does. We bear witness to the choices and concessions that Nick’s new insights require him to make. We hope that he will not become jaded and unworthy, that he will stand for love and loyalty instead of becoming like the hideous Tom and Daisy.

The third-person limited POV, as suggested by the example of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, pulls the reader in and along with the narrator. We discover and choose at the same time the narrator does.

But third person limited POV, like first person POV, also presents a narrator who may or may not be reliable. Films with great I-definitely-did-not-see-that-coming endings often tell their stories through the eyes of a third-person narrator with limited knowledge. Consider The Usual Suspects and The Sixth Sense.

In the first, Keyser Söse transforms himself and the truth, directing our attention to all the wrong interpretations so that he can get away with murder and money. In the second film, Dr. Malcolm Crowe has unfinished business that prevents him from seeing the truth about himself. We think we are participants in a ghost story, but until the final scene, we have no idea that the entire tale is being told by a ghost. The truth was unavailable to the narrator, the person whose eyes guide us, until the narrator finds the truth.

So readers and viewers should be wary of third-person limited narrators; they should remind themselves that they may not be getting the whole truth and nothin’ but the truth. This is part of the pleasure in reading such works and a legitimate choice for authors.

Reading Challenge:

Read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, any one or all of the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling, The Usual Suspects directed by Brian Singer, or The Sixth Sense directed by M. Night Shyamalan. These works will allow you to experience a third-person limited narrator.

Writing Challenge:

Using the first lines of Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, rewrite them as if the narrator were omniscient, then again with a first-person POV.

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsought — frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions. Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.

And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit. Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes, but after a certain point I don’t care what it’s founded on. When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction — Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the “creative temperament.”— it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No — Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men
.

Grammar, Usage and Mechanics (GUM): A. M. or AM?

Once upon a time, periods followed the letters A, M, and P to designate abbreviations for ante meridiem(before midday) and post meridiem (after midday). Now the abbreviations are so common that we no longer think of them as representing something longer at all; we just think of them as designations for morning and evening.

In addition, in 1973, when the price of paper and ink followed higher oil prices into the mesosphere, printers and publishers looked for ways to economize by saving space. The old Oxford comma never died, but it faded from prominence as have the periods after the letters A, M, and P.

So you may boldly go to press without periods for AM and PM.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Third-Person Point of View, Part 1.

Connye Griffin is My Writing and Editing Coach.

The third-person POV features third-person pronouns: he, she, it and they in the nominative case; him, her, them in the objective case; and his, her, its, and their in the possessive. Three examples from fiction appear below.

o For the first time in years the tears were streaming down his face. But they were for himself now. He did not care about mouth and eyes and moving hands. He wanted to care, and he could not care. For he had gone away, and he could never go back any more. The gates were closed, the sun was gone down, and there was no beauty but the gray beauty of steel that withstands all time. Even the grief he could have borne was left behind in the country of illusion, of youth, of the richness of life, where his winter dreams had flourished (from “Winter Dreams” by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: A New Collection. Ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli. New York: Scribner’s, 1989. 235-236).

.

o Of all earthly pleasures, Laila’s favorite was lying next to Aziza, her baby’s face so close that she could watch her big pupils dilate and shrink. Laila loved running her finger over Aziza’s pleasing, soft skin, over the dimpled knuckles, the folds of fat at her elbows. Sometimes she lay Aziza down on her chest and whispered into the soft crown of her head things about Tariq, the father who would always be a stranger to Aziza, whose face Aziza would never know. Laila told her of his aptitude for solving riddles, his trickery and mischief, his easy laugh (from A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, 219).



o He thought there had to be something overlooked but there wasnt. They kicked through the trash in the aisles of a foodmarket. Old packaging and papers and the eternal ash. He scoured the shelves looking for vitamins. He opened the door of a walk-in-cooler but the sour rank smell of the dead washed out of the darkness and he quickly closed it again. They stood in the street. He looked at the gray sky. Faint plume of their breath. The boy was exhausted. He took him by the hand. We have to look some more, he said. We have to keep looking (from The Road by Cormac McCarthy, 59).



Many authors use third-person to tell their stories, and non-fiction writers often choose third-person for critical essays and explanations in order to avoid the sticky terrain of opinion and bias. Almost all the writing that teachers and professors ask you to do in schools and universities will require that you write in third-person.

Today, as evinced by the three opening examples, the topic under discussion is third-person omniscient. Next week, the focus will be third-person limited.

Re-read the excerpt from Hosseini. It begins with someone’s knowledge that Laila’s number-one pleasure in this world is her daughter, Aziza. How many people know your number-one pleasure? How many people have you told what your number-one pleasure is? The answer to both questions is likely “no one” or “very few people.”

Omniscient third-person narrators know the character’s innermost thoughts, motives, and secrets. Not only that, an omniscient narrator knows the innermost thoughts, motives, and secrets of every character. Hence, the name: omniscient, defined as having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.

A first-person narrator might say: I noticed that he kicked his right leg forward as he walked, and it swung above the ground from a knee-joint instead of following the hip, thigh and knee to plant the foot firmly below. I wondered if cancer, a machine, or war had taken the leg below the knee and hoped he would tell me one day.

On the other hand, a third-person POV for the same man might read: With each step, he lifted his right leg and exerted pressure on the cup at his knee to kick the lower leg up and out before relaxing the thigh muscles so that the foot fell into place. At first, the effort had exhausted him, then it had become excruciating as he pushed himself hour by hour to take another and another step, farther, still farther. Every sharp pang and dull ache were nothing; they were lighter than that moment when the detonator’s click reached his ears, too late to step off, too late to save the leg--hell, to save himself. He shut his eyes against the memory of that leg, just out of arm’s reach, still standing in that boot the color of sand, the khaki staining black with the blood that seemed to rise from his soul.

The first-person POV only describes what a person can sense and infer whereas the third-person POV knows the past and the present, the action and the emotion all at once.

Reading Challenge:

Identify two works, one written in first-person and the second, in third-person. Read or re-read the two works, noting how the authors manipulate point-of-view to grant and withhold information to readers. Ask yourself what has been gained and lost in the POV choice. (Note: This post and last week’s include titles for works written from both points of view.)

Writing Challenge:

As I did in the two short passages about a man with an artificial limb, write from the first person POV, then from the third-person omnisicient POV.

Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics (GUM):

When I was a girl--oh and woe, so many years ago--I learned that the article “a” precedes a word that begins with a consonant or a letter pronounced as a consonant. For example:

o A frat boy and a girl walked into a bar with a top hat on his head, a scarf on hers, and a platypus between them.
o A cat crouched behind a tree to watch a mouse scurry across a freshly mowed lawn.
o A photo of Sasquatch has been debunked by a scientist and a conspiracy nut working together.
o A university education is essential if you wish to qualify for a great job, but while studying at a university, I recommend that you carry an umbrella at all times.

If you are reading the examples closely, you should notice two words beginning with “u” in the last one. “A” precedes “university” but “an” precedes “umbrella.” The reason is that words such as “university” and “universal” begin with a sound like the pronoun “you” whereas “umbrella” and “underwear” and “uncle” begin with the vowel sound “uh.”

Words that begin with vowel sounds, including “uh” require the article “an.”
For example:

o An ant labors all his days whereas a grasshopper appears to hop, skip and jump through his.
o An elegant table setting requires candlelight and cloth napkins, but a casual brunch table needs paper napkins and plastic tableware.
o An idiot knows his present, but an informed voter knows the past and present in order to provide for the future.
o An octopus is one of the world’s best escape artists due to its abilities to shift shape and camouflage its colors.
o An umbrella is an essential tool when living in cities or dashing from class to class at a university.
o A yolk is no joke in terms of calories, but a yoke is often a joke if cracked upon the head of clown.

Again, I saved the exception for the last example in the series above. “Y” often counts as a vowel, but when words beginning with “y” are spoken, the pronunciation is not a short vowel sound so words opening with “y” usually require the article “a.”

Finally, is it an historic moment or a historic moment? Well, it’s both actually, but the more correct version is a historic moment for reasons similar to the “u” examples above. When the word begins with an “h” sound, choose the article “a.” When the word begins without the aspirant sound “h,” then choose “an” as in “an honest effort” (a word that begins with a vowel sound instead of the “h” sound). Thus:

o Owning a horse is a wonderful but expensive hobby.
o A hobby is as important to a happy life as honey is to bees.
o A honey bee is a friend to gardeners and farmers
o A hive should be protected from pollutants and predators, including wasps and man.

So let the distinction between vowel and consonant sounds be your guide when choosing between “a” and “an,” except, of course, some words beginning with “u” and “h.”

Friday, August 5, 2011

Can I Believe Your Story? First-Person POV

Connye Griffin is My Writing and Editing Coach.

• This I believe (“A Public Dialogue about Belief--One Story at a Time,” NPR)
I think; therefore, I am. (Descartes)
I feel pretty / Oh so pretty / I feel pretty and witty and bright (“I Feel Pretty,” West Side Story)
• In my opinion, the first person point of view (POV, hereafter) comes naturally to most of us.
• Why can’t we all just get along? (Rodney King)
I think I speak for all of us. (DemocraticUnderground, et al)







The words in bold font above are words typically read in a first person account whether it is fiction or non-fiction. The pronouns I and its plural form, we; possessive forms my and mine; and an objective plural form, us characterize the first person POV.

Many authors who have used the first person POV and snippets from a few of their works appear below. Note the pronouns in use.

In the days after that bone scan, I couldn’t find a hopeful way out . . . . I did manage to imagine uplifting conversations I might have with my daughters about how it was O.K. for me to die this time, as it absolutely had not been when they were four and seven, and I had foreseen their adoring but occasionally absent-minded father getting them the wrong kind of sneakers or losing track of their dental appointments after I was gone. Now I was sure that I had told them everything of importance I knew; they had understood it all and figured out a lot on their own, and were as close to perfect as they could possibly be. Then it occurred to me that neither of them was married yet, and I would hate to miss the weddings and the grandchildren. I speculated about which of my friends I would assign to help them pick out their wedding dresses. Then I cried and decided that I really wanted to stay around. (Alice Trillin writing for the New Yorker in 1990, excerpted and reprinted in About Alice by Calvin Trillin, 59-60)



I’ve seen things they’ll never know about. I saw a family of weaver birds work together for months on a nest that became such a monstrous lump of sticks and progeny and nonsense that finally it brought their whole tree thundering down. I didn’t speak of it to my husband or children, not ever. So you see. I have my own story, and increasingly in my old age it weighs on me. Now that every turn in the weather whistles an ache through my bones, I stir in bed and the memories rise out of me like a buzz of flies from a carcass. I crave to be rid of them, but find myself being careful, too, choosing which ones to let out into the light. I want you to find me innocent. As much as I’ve craved your lost, small body, I want you now to stop stroking my inner arms at night with your fingertips. Stop whispering. I’ll live or die on the strength of your judgment, but first let me say who I am. Let me claim that Africa and I kept company for a while and then parted ways, as if we were both party to relations with a failed outcome. Or say I was afflicted with Africa like a bout of a rare disease, from which I have not managed a full recovery. Maybe I’ll even confess the truth, that I rode in with the horsemen and beheld the apocalypse, but still I’ll insist I was only a captive witness. What is the conqueror’s wife, if not a conquest herself? (Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible, 8-9)





I tried left, then right, but kept striking rock. The frost feathers holding me up, it became apparent, were maybe five inches thick and had the structural integrity of stale corn bread. Below was thirty-seven hundred feet of air, and I was balanced on a house of cards. The sour taste of panic rose in my throat. My eyesight blurred, I began to hyperventilate, my calves started to shake. I shuffled a few feet farther to the right, hoping to find thicker ice, but managed only to bend an ice ax on the rock. (Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild, 143)



The first and third passages by Trillin and Krakauer are from non-fiction works, the first a memoir or extended eulogy in honor of the wife he loved dearly. The second is an analytical book mostly about Chris McCandless, a boy who left his worldly goods, family and friends behind to walk into Alaska. He dared the wilderness and lost as did several others, including Krakauer, but not all lost their lives in doing so.

The second passage is a novel I have referenced often. Kingsolver’s method in The Poisonwood Bible and another of her novels, Prodigal Summer, is to tell her story from the first-person points of view of several different characters. In doing so, we often learn about the same event as seen through the filters of very different personalities and life experiences.



In addition, Kingsolver’s narrative using multiple narrators overcomes one of the deficiencies of the first-person POV: narrator reliability. Just as you may doubt the truth of a story when someone tells it to you, readers may doubt the first-person narrator. How many facts did the narrator add or delete in order to make himself look reasonable and good? How much did the narrator alter the truth in order to present himself as he would like others to see him? With multiple witnesses, each telling the same story, we can sift through the evidence and language to discover the truth.

Or can we? That is one of the tricks that mystery and thriller writers use, and it’s a fact that detectives will share. In any given moment at any crime or accident, multiple witnesses will provide sometimes wildly different versions of the same event. What detectives seek is some consistency or at least a common thread weaving through all the versions that will allow them to discern what actually happened.

Robert Browning used this technique of multiple points of view to present an account of a triple murder and subsequent trial in Rome, 1698. Ten different speakers provide accounts in The Ring and the Book, and Browning leaves the reader to judge the guilt or innocence of Count Guido Franceschini for himself. In “My Last Duchess” as well as several other shorter dramatic monologue poems, Browning uses the same technique, allowing the speaker to tell his own story and readers to judge the true nature of the speaker’s character.





Reading Challenge
:

Read a classic novel, The Catcher in the Rye, for which J. D. Salinger created a first-person narrator, Holden Caulfield, or read any of the other works used as examples in this post.



Writing Challenge:

Turn to your writing journals. Read selected entries. Have you used first-person point of view to tell your personal stories? If so, tell the same story from another point of view as if your story belongs to someone else. If you already use third-person, telling stories about characters and not from a personal POV, then rewrite one to use first person.

Next Week: Third-person POV

Grammar, Usage and Mechanics (GUM)
:

A common writing error is to shift points of view without reason or logic. We often do this when conversing with friends and peers, when our language use is less formal and exact.

Many of these shifts involve GUM errors. Here is an example of an inconsistent shift in POV and an explanation of why it is inappropriate.

o The dream really frightened me. You run for your life in the dream and fight to wake up. Everyone does the same, don't they? This example features all three narrative points of view:
o One person (I) had a bad dream.
o Then, the speaker shifts abruptly to second person (you), generalizing about the experience of dreaming.
o Finally, the speaker generalizes further by making his experience universal with the third person (everyone).
o When reading the three statements, it is not clear if the dreamer dreamed the frightening dream or heard about a frightening dream in which someone runs for his life and fights to wake up.
o And that’s the problem with shifting POVs; the writer has failed to be clear.