Perspective. Point of view.Interpretation. Outlook. They're all different words but hold the same meaning, and that is my opinion, your opinion, and our opinion.
It was only this August that I really looked more in-depth into "perspective" when reading texts. All my life, I just read and read, never thinking about "perspective," but I had my thoughts about the books I've read. I didn't know that these thoughts were snippets of my mindset. Like I have written on my Identity page, I go with the flow. I tend to not make things complicated than they already are. By admitting these facts, I am outright showing my perspective of things.
Going back to that August "perspective" revelation in our first Lang Lit class, it was a mind-opening and academically-changing moment of my life. I usually only think of what the text/s meant for me. Still, during my pre-Brent school years, I always look into the writer's background. It was during the ninth grade that my English teacher instilled into my mind that literature is a mirror of society. I applied that sort of mentality whenever I read these days, and now that we actually use such concepts in school readings, I was intellectually satisfied.
When we tackled literary theory during one Lang Lit class, it provided my peers and me different lenses on reading texts. For example, the concept of New Historicism or Cultural Materialism is about the historical, social, and economic events of a given period that influenced a text's development. In other words, this theory requires you to open a history book to understand the text.
Another theory that we learned was New Criticism. This one interprets the text by basing it on the writing styles used, spotting out poetic devices and etc. Generally, you decipher the text on how it was written.
Literary theory is basically a set of various lenses that helps you see through the text's different layers.
Personally, the concept of perspective makes me explore the text's and the author's history, as well. I would have a grasp of the writer's standpoint if I knew what circumstance she/he was in while writing.
However, perspective isn't only limited to an individual, it could come from a whole. Let's say two competing broadcasting news media cover the exact same story, but both are written in different lights. The story is about the Build, Build, Build project under the Duterte administration. The opposing party would write that the project is too expensive, no guaranteed payback, and would further increase the nation's debt. The pro-Duterte side would state that it might be costly, but it will render more jobs for Filipinos and improve infrastructure.
Another example would be this Dove ad that we covered during our early days of Lang Lit class. Dove had a history of putting out 'racist' ads like this.
For example, the Dove VisibleCare Body wash of 2011.
When we discussed it, the first and most common response was how it had racial overtones like portraying a transition of a black and curvy woman to a white and fit one. Another factor we have noticed was the floor's gradient color, wherein the brown floorboard faded into white.
Dove's argument was they intended to show the product's benefits by making the skin more beautiful in just one week. The three women on the ad were the 'after' byproducts of said body wash. This means their product benefits all ladies, regardless of color, shape, and size. I only realized too late that Dove had a valid point, as well.
We were analyzing it in an Eastern lense. I never thought of it as anything aside from being racist. The thing is we automatically said it was because of how the West belittled the East in many ways throughout history. The question of whether the ad is racist or not is a subjective matter. Your viewpoint depends on where you came from, and identity plays a role in forming your perspectives. Just do take note that multiple perspectives do not shape all narratives. In the Dove case, it was the East that prevailed.