Identify the Point of View of an Author

A point of view is the opinion or stance of the author on an issue.  Point of view is sometimes referred to as bias.  Political cartoons are often used on the GED Test.  These opinion pieces represent an author’s opinion or point of view on a subject. 


Example


President Reagan Tear Down This Wall, June 12, 1987

In the 1950's, Khrushchev predicted: "We will bury you." But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind-too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor ... We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness… There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!1

Notice President Reagan’s point of view in this speech.  He speaks of the good things in the west, prosperity and freedom.  The President states that the Communist world has failed and people even lack food.  He does not think that the Soviets have it right.  President Reagan believes that the Soviet Union needs to change and tear down the Berlin Wall to become prosperous.

FDR Cartoon
 
This political cartoon is an example of the author’s point of view.  The cartoon illustrates the author’s opinion that Congress should be alarmed by President Roosevelt’s desire to make changes to the Supreme Court.  The author’s opinion is that the president wants to change the Supreme Court because the president does not agree with the Supreme Court. President Roosevelt is portrayed as a captain who wants too much authority.


Practice

Henry wallace Cartoon

Which of the following best expresses the cartoonist’s point of view?

Henry Wallace understands when to go to war and when to keep peace
2. Henry Wallace cannot be trusted because he says one thing and something completely different later
3. Henry Wallace’s desire for peace should be respected
4. Henry Wallace has consistently been against war
5. Henry Wallace is the best candidate in the election

Next

1http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1987/061287d.htm

Franklin Roosevelt Sailor Cartoon - http://newdeal.feri.org/court/059.htm

Henry Wallace Cartoon - http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/running-for-office/