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Narrative Theories

Learning Object

Raphael Bosano

on 16 January 2013

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Transcript of Narrative Theories

Narrative Theories Broadcast Fiction Production
AY 2012-2013 Identified 8 different characters in a narrative Vladimir Propp (1985-1970) Described narratives as a constant conflict between binary opposites Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-2009) Saw narratives as a series of codes which are interpreted by the audience. Roland Barthes (1915-1980) Described narratives as starting from an equilibrium; encountering a distortion and developing a disequilibrium; finding a resolution to arrive at a new equilibrium. Tzvetan Todorov (1939-) Narrative theory explores the conventions of: Genre, Character, Time and Structure Plot vs. Narrative Plot A series of events
that make up a story. Narrative The manner in which the series of events is weaved together to be presented, in a way that is understandable, to an audience Russian scholar who studied local folk/fairy tales. The Hero :
Protagonist. One who sent out on a mission Let's use Disney's Aladdin as an example... The Villain: Antagonist. Tries to stop the hero from achieving his goals. The Heroine: The hero's love interest.
Can also serve as the hero's prize/reward. The Father: A person with authority or knowledge The Dispatcher: The one who sends the hero off. The False Hero: Another villain pretending to be good The Donor: Provides the hero with something to help him/her during the mission. The Sidekick: The hero's helper who provides light moments through his/her antics. Also came up with a list of narrative functions Preparation Stage A community is in an ordered state of being
A member of the community leaves home
A warning is given to the leaders of community or hero
The warning is ignored
The villain attempts to discover something about the victim of the broken rule
The villain tries to deceive the victim to gain advantage
The victim unwittingly helps the villain Complication Stage The villain harms a member of the community
A member of the community desires something
The hero is sent to get what is desired
The hero plans action against the villain Transference Stage The hero leaves home
The hero is tested or attacked and meets the test and is given a magical gift or helper
The hero reacts to the donor
The hero arrives at the place so he can fulfill his quest Struggle Stage Struggle between the hero and villain occurs
The hero is branded
The villain is overcome
The state of order is settled Return Stage The hero returns
The hero is pursued
The hero escapes or is rescued
The hero arrives home and isn't recognize
A false hero claims the rewards
A task is set for the hero
The task is accomplished Recognition Stage The hero is recognized
The false hero or villain is unmasked
The false hero /villain is punished
The hero attains the reward French anthropologist and ethnologist Man versus Nature In the movie 2012, audiences drawn to a situation in which human fall helpless to the earth's inevitable destruction which is caused by uncontrollable forces Good verus Evil The 1973 film Exorcist shows the battle between good and evil. It further depicts a narrative convention where good always defeats evil forces. Beauty versus Ugly Ugly Betty, tells of the struggles of a girl working tirelessly to fit in a society where she is considered an outcast because of her different physical appearance. Other forms of binary opposites: Love vs. Hate
Black vs. White
Peace vs. War
Wealth vs. Poverty
Humans vs. Technology French literary theorist and semiotican Proairetic Code Also known as the action code, this is something that the audience already knows and therefore will not need further explanation. Audiences need not analyze that the main setting of the film View from the Top is in an airport as the story, characters and their costume already suggest this idea. Enigma Code Something that is hidden from the audience and sparks intrigue. How Lenny in the film Memento (2000) found out that his wife's killer John G. is actually Teddy despite his short term memory loss. Add on to this the fact that the narrative is told in reverse order. Symbolic Code Something that represents a more abstract concept Fire is usually shown to represent forbidden love, relationships or even lust. Cultural Code Something that is interpreted due to the understanding of a culture of a certain group. Medical personnel would prefectly understand scenes in the series ER especially those involving medical procedures as they are familiar with the nature of the profession. Semic Code Something that the audience would recognize through connotations. Narrations suggest/illustrate abstract objects Bulgarian philosoper Equilibrium (everyday occurrences) Disequilibrium (disruption which alters the balance) Conflict (seeking a resolution) Resolution (problem is sorted) NEW Equilibrium (back to normal but never the same as before) Narrative Structure Linear Structure A narrative with a concrete Beginning Middle End Circular Structure Beginning/End The narrative begins and ends at the same point. Open Structure A narrative where the audience is given the freedom to make sense of the events and create their own image of what happens in the end. Closed Structure A narrative with a definite ending. What did you think of Inception's ending? Most film narratives have a closed structure where endings are fed directly to the audience. A narrative with a beginning, middle and end

Narrative is a series of functions with a set of characters

Binary opposites

Something hidden from the audience

Narrative is a series of codes

Something the audience already knows

A narrative where the audience makes sense of the ending Enigma code

Open structure

Action code

Roland Barthes

Vladimir Propp

Claude Levi-Strauss

Linear structure Match the words/theorists to their right definitions/theories
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