III Point of View - How and Why?

How is this story told?  Is there an all-knowing narrator, or is it narrated by one of the characters? 

First-Person Narrator

The novel has a first-person narrator if the story is told by one of the characters in the story.  The text will say, "I did this; I saw this."  Usually, when reading a novel written with a first person narrator, the reader only knows what the character knows because the reader is unable to witness anything beyond those things that can be seen and heard by the character telling the story. 

Third-Person Narrator

The novel has a third-person narrator if the narrator refers to the main character as "he" or "she" but never "I" or "me".  There are two basic types of third-person narrators:

Third-Person Limited

A novel has a third-person limited narrator if the narrator only reveals anything what the main characters can see or hear

Third-Person Omniscient

     "Omniscient"  means "all-knowing".  The novel has an omniscient point of view if the reader is aware of what all the characters can see or hear.  This will often include the "bad guys". 
     Sometimes this will result in irony: are there things that the reader knows that the characters don't know?  When people watch Titanic, all the viewers know that the ship will sink, but the characters don't.  Therefore, sometimes the viewer will know if that the characters are doing particularly inappropriate things. 

Shifting Narrators

Occasionally, an author will switch narrators during the story.  This can be done with either 1st or 3rd person limited.  The author may limit the narration to a different character for each chapter, or it may shift back and forth within a chapter.  Authors sometimes do this to get around the limitations of being stuck with what a single character can see and hear.