There are three types of 3rd person narration. Each has different features than the other two. The first type of 3rd person narration is third person omniscient. The second is third person limited. The third is third person objective. The same story can be told from each of these types of 3rd person narration, but the reader will get a different perspective.
In the third person omniscient type of 3rd person narration, the person telling the story (the narrator) knows all and sees all. He or she can tell the reader the thoughts and ideas of every person involved in the story. In this type of 3rd person narration, as with the others, the narrator is not part of the story. He or she is only telling the story of other characters. The facts, thoughts, and feelings of all the characters in the story are known to the narrator who shares them with the reader. The narrator can express the opinions of the characters while telling the story. An example of a short story that uses this type of 3rd person narration (third person omniscient) is ‘The Story of an Hour’ by Kate Chopin.
The third person limited (also known as the third person limited omniscient) type of 3rd person narration also does not involve the narrator in the action. He or she tells the facts of the story through the thoughts and feelings of only one character. This type of 3rd person narration limits the amount of information the narrator has about all the characters, except one. That character is normally one of the main characters in the story but not always. In this type of 3rd person narration, the story is told from the perspective of one character. The reader will get to know the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of this one character through the narrator’s telling of the story. An example of an entire series written in this type of 3rd person narration (third person limited) is the Harry Potter series. They are written almost exclusively through the eyes of Harry. If he doesn’t see something, then the reader does not see it (know it) either.
The final type of 3rd person narration is third person objective. In this type of 3rd person narration, the narrator is normally an unbiased, neutral reporter of the facts. He or she has no idea what any of the characters are actually thinking. Again, the narrator is not involved in the story to any extent. He or she is simply an observer, a bystander. Normally, this type of 3rd person narration is assumed to be used in newspapers, news articles, new magazines, and on news broadcasts. Today, however, it is known that most news venues (papers, magazines, channels) are biased on the stories they tell the public and how they tell them. This type of 3rd person narration is meant to state facts without commentary on right/wrong or should have/should not have. It is supposed to tell the story the way it happened without changing details or expressing an opinion.
There are three types of 3rd person narration’omniscient, limited, objective. Each type has a special way of telling a story. Every story can be told through each of these types of 3rd person narration, but the reader will get a different understanding of different characters and their feelings, thoughts, and opinions depending on the type of 3rd person narration used.