Narrative theory

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<ul><li> 1. Narrative Theory <ul><li>Learning Objective: </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>To understand what is meant by narrative and look at some examples of narrative theory. </li></ul> <p> 2. Plot vs Narrative </p> <ul><li>The plot of a film is everything that happens to the characters in chronological order. </li></ul> <ul><li>The narrative of a film is the coherence or organisation given to a sequence of events. </li></ul> <ul><li>It is up to the audience to decode the narrative and work out what the plot is. </li></ul> <p> 3. For example, in Titanic </p> <ul><li>The plot begins when several characters board an ocean liner </li></ul> <ul><li>The narrative shows one of the characters as an old woman who then relays her story of the ocean liner. </li></ul> <p> 4. Storytime vs Screen Time </p> <ul><li>The story time is the length of the entire story whereas the screen time is the length of the film. </li></ul> <ul><li>Usually the story time is longer than the screen time. </li></ul> <ul><li>Sometimes the story and screen times are the same (eg 24 (arguably!)) </li></ul> <ul><li>Can you think of a possible way that the screen time could be longer than the story time? </li></ul> <p> 5. Time Manipulation </p> <ul><li>Summary (e.g time compression) </li></ul> <ul><li>Ellipsis (cutting out intervening time) </li></ul> <ul><li>Flashbacks </li></ul> <ul><li>Dream Sequences </li></ul> <ul><li>Repetition </li></ul> <ul><li>Different characters POV </li></ul> <ul><li>Flash Forwards </li></ul> <p> 6. Location Manipulation </p> <ul><li>Establishing shots </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>New York skyline </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Creative Geography </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Separate shots of different locations audience assumes they must be related. </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Location conventions </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Often associated with genre and form spaceships. </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 7. Todorovsa pproach ton arrative </p> <ul><li>There arefivestages a narrative has to passt hrough: </li></ul> <ul><li>The state ofequilibrium(state of normality good, bad or neutral) . </li></ul> <ul><li>A neventdisrupts theequil i brium (a character or an action) . </li></ul> <ul><li>The mainprotagonistrecognises that the equilibrium has been disrupted. </li></ul> <ul><li>Protagonist attempts to rectify this in order torestore equilibrium . </li></ul> <ul><li>Equilibrium is restored but, because causal transformations have occurred, there are differences (good, bad, or neutral) from original equilibrium, which establish it as anew equilibrium . </li></ul> <p> 8. Propps approach to narrative </p> <ul><li>Vladimir Propp studied hundreds of Russian folk and fairytales before deciding that all narratives have a common structure. </li></ul> <ul><li>He observed that narratives are shaped and directed by certain types of characters and specific kinds of actions </li></ul> <ul><li>He believed that there are 31 possible stages orfunctions in any narrative </li></ul> <ul><li>These may not all appear in a single story, but nevertheless always appear in the same sequence. </li></ul> <ul><li>A function is a plot motif or event in the story.</li></ul> <ul><li>A tale may skip functions but it cannot shuffle their unvarying order. </li></ul> <p> 9. Propps approach to narrative </p> <ul><li>Villain struggles with hero </li></ul> <ul><li>Donorprepares and/or provides hero with magical agent </li></ul> <ul><li>Helperassists, rescues, solves and/or transfigures the hero </li></ul> <ul><li>Princessa sought-for person (and/or her father) who exists as goal and often recognises and marries hero and/or punishes villain </li></ul> <ul><li>Dispatchersends hero off </li></ul> <ul><li>Herodeparts on a search (seeker-hero), reacts to donor and weds at end </li></ul> <ul><li>False Heroclaims to be the hero, often seeking and reacting like a real hero </li></ul> <p>Propp believed that there are seven roles which any character may assume in the story: 10. Examples of Propps narrative functions </p> <ul><li>Preparation </li></ul> <ul><li>Complication </li></ul> <ul><li>Transference </li></ul> <ul><li>Struggle </li></ul> <ul><li>Return </li></ul> <ul><li>Recognition </li></ul> <p> 11. Claude Levi-Strausss approach to narrative </p> <ul><li>After studying hundreds of myths and legends from around the world, Levi-Strauss observedthat we make sense of the world, people and events by seeing and usingbinary oppositeseverywhere. </li></ul> <ul><li>He observed that all narratives are organised around theconflictbetween such binary opposites.</li></ul> <p> 12. Examples of binary opposites </p> <ul><li>Good vs evil </li></ul> <ul><li>Black vs white </li></ul> <ul><li>Boy vs girl </li></ul> <ul><li>Peace vs war </li></ul> <ul><li>Civilised vs savage </li></ul> <ul><li>Democracy vs dictatorship </li></ul> <ul><li>Conqueror vs conquered </li></ul> <ul><li>First world vs third world </li></ul> <ul><li>Domestic vs foreign/alien </li></ul> <ul><li>Articulate vs inarticulate </li></ul> <ul><li>Young vs old </li></ul> <ul><li>Man vs nature </li></ul> <ul><li>Protagonist vs antagonist </li></ul> <ul><li>Action vs inaction </li></ul> <ul><li>Motivator vs observer </li></ul> <ul><li>Empowered vs victim </li></ul> <ul><li>Man vs woman </li></ul> <ul><li>Good-looking vs ugly </li></ul> <ul><li>Strong vs weak </li></ul> <ul><li>Decisive vs indecisive </li></ul> <ul><li>East vs west </li></ul> <ul><li>Humanity vs technology </li></ul> <ul><li>Ignorance vs wisdom </li></ul> <p> 13. Roland Barthes Codes </p> <ul><li>Action codes symbolic/iconographic images that communicate events from the narrative, e.g. characters brushing hands to retrieve spilled papers suggest that they are falling in love </li></ul> <ul><li>Enigma codes questions raised by a narrative that the audience yearn to answer </li></ul>