Assignment 8 : Narrative Theory

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  • 1. Assignment 8: Narrative TheoryBy: Marisha Inoke

2. PART A : TODOROV 3. Todorov Tzvetan Todorov (born March 1, 1939) is a Franco-Bulgarian philosopher. He has lived in France since 1963 and now lives there with his wife Nancy Huston and their two children, writing books and essays about literary theory, thought history and culture theory. 4. Todorovs narrative theory Todorov suggested that stories begin with anequilibrium (or normality). This is disrupted by an event which causes adisequilibrium which then causes other chainof events to occur. In the end the problem is solved andeverything is restored back to its equilibrium. 5. Todorov suggested that there are 5 stages of narrative (with 3 major parts).THIS ARE THE FIVE STAGES: Equilibrium (or normality). Disequilibrium (conflict/disruption ofequilibrium by action or event). Recognition of Disequilibrium(disruption/conflict). Attempt to repair.- NEW equilibrium. 6. Equilibrium NEW Disequilibriumequilibrium Todorovsnarrative theory Attempt toRecognitions of repairDisequilibrium 7. These five stages are familiar to the audience as itis mainly used in mainstream films. An example of a film with these five stages is Harold & Kumar escape from Guantanamo bay. 8. Equilibrium (or normality)In the beginning of the film everything is atequilibrium and its just introducing the twocharacters (which are best-friends). 9. Disequilibrium Then we have the dis-equilibrium/disruption caused by anevent that happened on the airplanewhere the gests misunderstood forusing a bomb instead of a bongwhich he brought onto his flight. They both get imprisoned onsuspicions of terrorism. Then soonafter they escape from Guantanamobay and try to outrun the authorities.Throughout the film they experienceone situation after another. 10. Recognition of disequilibriumHarold & Kumar recognises the dis-equilibrium and that their both in a serioussituation. 11. Attempt to repair disequilibriumThey both in the end get caught and taken intointerrogation where they are found to becompletely innocent. 12. Equilibrium is restored (NEW equilibrium) In the end they are free from imprisonment. Kumar ends up with the grooms fianc (his ex-lover) and flies to Amsterdam so that Harold can meet the girl he had previously met in the elevator. The ending scene is at a new equilibrium and everything is back to normal as it is a happy ending for both characters. 13. TODOROV TASK 1 14. PART B: LEVI STRAUSS 15. LEVI STRAUSS He believed that our world is described inBINARY OPPOSITES. When we look at themes within stories theyconsists of differences, contradictions andconflict or opposites.BINARY OPPOSITESNight dayold YoungGoodBadBoy GirlMalefemale 16. Cont. Suggests that we are only able to understandgood when evil is present. An example ofthis is mainly in super-hero films where youhave a binary opposites like the Hero and theVillain. Furthermore he believes that oppositionoffers structure to a text. 17. Hero Vs. Villain The hero is a handsome male who is muscular. He is also seen as a kind hearted character. Furthermore, The Hero is always stronger and more powerful than the Villain. The villain is the opposition to the Hero and sometimes the same gender. The villain is portrayed as a selfish greedy unattractive character. Unattractive, selfish, weak and powerless. 18. Cont. The villain is portrayed asthe character who is muchmore powerful and strong asopposed to the villain. The colour black isassociated with mysteriousand dark as Batman is amysterious individual. He also leads a verysecretive life as he lives twoseparate lives. 19. Problem The problem with Strauss theory is that it createsa dominant ideology for a Hero and a villainwhich is incorporated in to the text. It can create the dangerous norms like the Herois represented as a white, male, handsome,muscular and a good citizen. Whereas you have the ethnic minoritiesrepresented in a negative stereotype like causinga felony, breaking laws or being a bad citizen. 20. DRAMA ACTIONLEVI STRAUSS TASK 1HORROR SCI-FI THRILLERGenre: ActionFilm: Opposite 1 Opposite 2ExplanationSpiderman (2002).(Spiderman is seen as a hero as he saves thehelpless girl). Costume presents the character as aSpiderman is presented as a Hero asbinary opposite to Spiderman. It is conventional to see the binaryhe saves the girl as Heros usually do opposites in Action (Super-hero) filmsin mainstream films, especially in as there has to be a hero and a villain.super-hero films as it is incorporatedin them. Furthermore, he is presentedSometimes it can be between theas a kind hearted individual whenhero and his sidekick.being The hero is portrayed as an unselfish character as opposed to the villain as he is selfish and just wants POWER for selfishness reasons. 21. cont.GENRE: ACTION Film: Opposite 1Opposite 2Explanation: The binary The Transporter opposites within an action film explicitly shows who is the hero and the villain. The transporter is sympathetic He is a hero as he protects the Portrayed as a villain as he is to the female girl from the villain. It is made dressed in dark clothing and clear which side he is on facial expression suggests that character. during the film as there is he is unwelcoming. binary opposites. 22. PART C : BARTHES 23. ROLAND BARTHES Similar to Todorovs theory, the audiences experience of narrative involves anticipation and expectation of resolution to disruption/conflict. 24. Barthes Codes: Enigma code Action code Semantic code Symbolic code Cultural code 25. Barthes - Enigma Narrative is set up as a puzzle. Enigma = mystery/puzzle 26. Enigma code example An example of an enigma is a trailer for a film.Example: The trailer of Slumdog millionairehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIzbwV7on6Q&safe=activeIn the beginning of the trailer it poses a questionfor the audience. The enigma is that will he find his true love. 27. Barthes - Action Code Codes of behaviour and actions that leadaudience us to expect certain consequences. Based on other stories/films and theirconvention. 28. Action code examplesThriller/Mystery Slasher/HorrorRomanceAction:Action: Action: A)A)A)B) B) B)Assumption:Assumption: Assumption:a) The male character is going to geta) The female character is going to get a) Body language and facial bitten by that snake.hooked on to that hook, which kills expression suggests that they are inb) The male character is going to her.love. shoot as it is in his intension as he b) Shes going to get killed. b) Facial expression and gazing into holds in his hand a weapon.each others eyes implying that theyare going to kiss. 29. Barthes Semantic code Connotative (imply or suggest) meanings ofcharacters, objects and locations. 30. Colour = BlackPredator Black SwanSpiderman 4CreatesThe colour black suggests Black can suggest evil beingenigma/mystery/bold/maje modern, seductive, evil, present or taking over.stic.majestic and bold. The reflection scene in Spiderman 4 is relevant as it connotes a change in character, old vs. new. 31. Iconography (sci-fi) Iconographic features have clear connotations and meanings to the audience. Sci-fi = Aliens, Spaceship, Hi-tech futuristic gadgets used in the film. Furthermore, the colour black suggests Modern.Alien or unknownspecies.A gadget used. 32. Barthes Symbolic code Symbolic features often signify oppositions and anti-theses Examples of symbolic code within a film like The Mona Lisasmiles as it is set in a time where females where it wasuncommon for a female to stay in education and pursue a career. It made it explicit that the men where privileged enough to goonto further education as opposed to females. Females where subjected to doing house cleaning, cookingand taking care of their husbands and family. 33. Symbolic code examples from Mona Lisasmiles. (females)Cook book for stay at home housewifes that are expected to cook fortheir family.This is a traditional view of women from a period of time.Apron suggests that shes a house-wife.Facial expressionsuggests that they areboth happy.Portray a happy stay Female professor is not a stay-at home housewife and at home house wife does not believe that women should be limited. and husband who isthe breadwinner. Strongly believes in education and that it can help women become independent, self-reliance and a dominant character. Women from a certain time period are subjected to being a stay at home housewife who cleans, cook and is submissive to their husband. 34. Symbolic code examples Mona Lisasmiles (males)The males are successful as they areprivileged to go to university andget a degree, as it is acceptable.Portrayed as quiet successful andwell presented. 35. Barthes Cultural codeIn the modern adaption A male dressing up as a woman Costume were not to represent theof Romeo & Juliet they (Drag queen) was not originally historical period of time that it wasuse guns as weaponsfeatured in Romeo & Juliet. initially set in.instead of swords. Costume makes it explicit that this is a modern version.Initially the men usedswords to fight theirPool is a more modernenemy. adaption to the scene when Romeo & Juliet meet in the garden. 36. PART D : PROPP 37. Vladimir Propp Studied folklore and fairy tales. He formed 2 theories, the first one is the 7 distinctive character types called the spheres of action. The 7 spheres of action are mainly based on historic fairy tales as they include the hero, villain, dispatcher, donor, helper, heroine and false hero. 38. Propp 7 spheres of Action1) Hero2) Villain3) Dispatcher4) Donor5) Helper6) Heroine7) False Hero 39. HERO An example of a Hero isKatniss from the filmThe Hunger games. She is portrayed as anindependent strongfemale characterbecause she is like amother to her littlesister. Furthermore, she is alsoportrayed as a kindhearted hero. 40. VILLAIN Opposes the hero. The villain who usually creates the narrative disruption. An example of a villain is the Green goblin from the super-hero film Spiderman. The Green goblin is portrayed as the villain as in most super-hero films there is a binary opposites.Another example of a villain fromanother film is the creator/inventor ofthe Hunger games who allows peopleslives to be taken for entertainment. 41. DISPATCHER Starts hero on its way An example of the dispatcher is the Godmother from Cinderella. She Sends Cinderella on her quest to restore the equilibrium 42. DONOR A Donor is someonewho helps hero bygiving him magictool/gift to help himon his journey. The tool or gift may beadvice. In the film Hungergames her tutor givesher advice that willhelp her on her quest. 43. HELPER An example of a Helper is Rue from The Hunger games. Rue is portrayed as a Helper as she helps Katniss from dying from the bee-stings in the forest. She also looks after Katniss when she was unconscious for days. Rue 44. HEROINE Often referred to as Princess. Usually female but not always Peeta is a Vulnerable character and just like Princess in fairy tales they need a Prince/Hero to rescue them. Often in love with the Hero or ends up with the hero. 45. FALSE HERO The false hero is a stock character in fairy tales, and sometimes also in ballads. The character appears near the beginning of a story in order to claim to be the hero or heroine and is, therefore, usually of the same sex as the hero or heroine. An example of a false hero is Scar from Lion King, The brother of Mufasa. He appears to be a false hero as he only wants to be king but the only twoColour black = dark, mysterious or things standing in his way is Mufasaperhaps dangerous. and the future king; Simba.- Eyes are unusual colour- Scar near his eye 46. PART E: Terms 47. Diegesis Diegesis is the world of film or programme wesee on screen is known as the diegesis or thediegetic world. The world that the characters live in TV/Film. The things that make up the Diegesis is thediegetic elements. 48. An example of Diegesis A TV programme or film isconsidered to be DIEGESIS aslong as the characters do notlook directly into the cameraor talk to the camera, whichbreaks the Diegesis as itbrings the diegesis and realitytogether. An example of Diegesis :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=276mzf_Go8U&safe=active 49. Narrative range Unrestricted narration A narrative which hasno limits to the information that is presented. Restricted narration Only offers a minimalinformation.Restricted narration = Enigma/mystery/puzzle. 50. An example of unrestricted narrationThis an example of aunrestricted narration asinformation is not restrictedfrom the audience. 51. An example of restricted narration An example of this is a trailer for a film. Trailers give so little information so that people will go and watch it in cinemas to see the ending. Trailer for the film The Life of Pi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B xY4l9kFGD0&safe=active Trailer makes the audience feel a sense of enigma as it brings up questions on whether Pi ever got to see English (Tiger) again.Shows the relationshipbetween Pi and English thetiger. 52. Narrative depthObjective characteridentification Theviewer is given uniqueaccess to a characterspoint of view. It is seenfrom their perspective. POV Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c6W 4CCU9M4&safe=activeThis is from a charactersperspective where we are giventhe unique access. 53. Cont.Subjective character identification The view is given the unique access to what arange of characters can see and do. 54. PART F : MODULAR NARRATIVE(CAMERON) 55. Modular Narrative Modular narratives articulate a sense of timedivisible and subject to manipulation. 56. Modular narratives (Cameron theory) Forking path Episodic Anachronic Split Screen 57. Forking path Narratives juxtapose alternativeversions of a story, showing thepossible outcomes that mightresult from a small change in asingle event or group of events. An example of Forking Path isGroundhog day as it revolvesaround a character who wakes upevery day experiencing Dj vu.When he realises he thenAllan Cameron shows how this formalplay reflects a persistent fascination withquestions of chance and destiny, memoryand history, and the representation ofsimultaneous events. 58. Episodic Narratives are organisedas an abstract series ornarrative anthology. Anthology consists of aseries of shorter taleswhich are apparentlydisconnected but share arandom similarity, likeepisodes. Examples of Episodic isF.R.I.E.N.D.S and Lost. 59. Anachronic Contains flashbacks and flash-forwards. An example of Anachronic is Memento. In the film Memento the main character has a condition where he has temporary memory loss, He can only have memories of his past and tends to have flashbacks of his dead wife. 60. Split Screen The screen is divided into two or more. Example of a split screen is used in films and YouTube videos.