POV: You and I/We. Is there a name for this?

It’s usually pretty easy to identify which POV something is written in. There are even some stories (Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman; Celestial Navigation by Anne Tyler etc) that are written in one POV for part of a story, and another in different chapters…but I’ve seen something new in two 11th grade papers this week that I’ve never seen before. At least not in prose. (There are songs that do it, though - " Everything you want" by Vertical Horizon goes from 3rd to 1st and so on)

I can’t give you word-for-word what they said because I don’t recall their papers completely, and even if I did there’s the non-disclosure issue, so I’ll give you an aproximation of what they did.

We entered the long dark hallway. I thought we should reconsider opening the door, but you told me we should press on. When I hesitated, you went on without me, so I scrambled to keep up since I couldn’t bear the thought of being left behind. When the door opened, you screamed, and I nearly fainted. It was huge, and it was coming right for us!

Is there a label for something like this that combines first and second person point of view? Whatever it is, it’s surprisingly engaging. I think I like it :smiley:

so…do you all suppose they invented a new POV, then?

I believe it’s still first-person narrative; the second-person pronouns don’t (unless I’m misreading) actually mean “you, the reader, did such-and-such”; they’re more like “you, the character, did such-and-such, and I’m addressing that character in second person to make the reader a little uncomfortable.” But there’s still a first-person narrator who is involved in the story and is telling us what happened.

The only instance I can recall of a true second-person narrative, without a first-person presence, was those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books when we (meaning us GenXers) were kids. Well, I guess some of those early text-based computer games were pretty much the same thing. Except on computers.

Well, there’s no “I” presence in in this story: http://www.geocities.com/theevilwriter/funeral.html

Oddly though, all my classmates decided “you” were supposed to be male, even though it was written by a female (me). I guess it’s because more boys than girls are taught not to cry in public.

I’d consider it first person. In Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne’s character asks the readers questions, assumes they answer wrong and then orders them to reread. Not quite the same as running into monsters, but similar in that he’s writing in the reader’s actions as well as his own. That book was published in the 1760’s, so it’s not new, just rare.