Who is Telling the Tale?

“Little pig! Little pig! Let me in! Let me in!”  (Wolf)

 “No! No! No!  Not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin!” (Little pig)

“Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down.” (Wolf)  

                                                                                                       The Three Little Pigs (Fairy Tale)

True to his world, the unfortunate thing happened – the wolf blew the little pig’s house down and gobbled him up like a piece of candy. The fairy tale ‘The Three Little Pigs’, to this day, makes us despise the untrustworthy wolf. The narrator did an exceptional job by framing the wolf as the ultimate villain just by the magic of his narration. But it is unfair to jump to conclusions without knowing the real story, right? So let’s hear the wolf’s version of the story. 

 “I rang the bell on the stick house. Nobody answered. I called, “Mr Pig, Mr Pig, are you in?” He yelled back, “Go away wolf. You can’t come in. I’m shaving the hairs on my chinny chin chin.” I had just grabbed the doorknob when I felt another sneeze coming on. I huffed. And I snuffed. And I tried to cover my mouth, but I sneezed a great sneeze. And you’re not going to believe it, but this guy’s house fell down just like his brother’s.”  — The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! By Jon Scieszka

Now that you have the story from the wolf’s point of view, it is really up to you to decide whether you should still hold him accountable or not. Powerful narration can influence the way we sympathise with different characters. It can make or break a hero and make us question our loyalty towards the protagonist. In case you haven’t noticed, this account of the wolf is more humorous and engaging. Who knew a change in perspective would bring about such a tremendous difference?  

CINDERELLA

Cinderella — the poor orphaned girl with a wicked stepmother and cunning step-sisters. Cindy toiled day and night, and by the time she finished all her chores, she was covered in cinders (hence the name Cinderella). We know all about the glass slipper, the stroke of midnight and the happily ever after. 

Well, brace yourself for some shocking revelations. The infamous stepmother is here to share her experience of living with Cindy, “OF COURSE you think Cinderella was the sweetest belle of the ball. You don't know the other side of the story. Well, let me tell you...”

“One day, a letter arrived, it was an invitation to the king's ball, and the prince would surely fall in love with one of my darlings. Then they would marry, live in a beautiful castle, and one day be king and queen of all the land! "Oh, Stepmother, I want to go too!" said Cindy. "Once upon a time, a girl and a Prince …” Then - just like that - Cindy lost her voice. Imagine it had to be from all that storytelling.    

Well, what could I do? I told Cindy she had to stay at home for her health. She cried, of course. Still, a ball was no place for a poorly girl. She needed rest.  Sometimes, it’s hard being a stepmother.”     

— An excerpt from Seriously, Cinderella Is SO Annoying! The Story of Cinderella As Told by the Wicked Stepmother by Trisha Speed Shaskan

See how a change in perspective can plant seeds of doubt in the reader’s mind and influence our thought process? How would other stories change if they were told from another perspective?  

Story from the point of view of an inanimate object:

 “It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.” ― George Eliot.

If asked to write a story based on the given topic — Going to the dentist— we are inclined to choose the dentist or the child visiting the dentist to recount the story. This time, we are going to do it differently. The dental chair is our narrator: