Most of this novel is written in the third person limited point of view. This means that characters are referred to as "he" or "she." The narrator is not a character in the book and does not refer to him- or herself. The point of view is "limited" in that the narration is not free to describe anything that happens anywhere, but can only tell us about events and thoughts that are experienced by Yakov. Ideas in the minds of other characters, for instance, are beyond Yakov's knowledge, and so cannot be told to the audience. For instance, the book's narration cannot directly explain the political situation outside of the jail because Yakov would have no knowledge of what is happening.