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Batman narrative structure_02-1

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  • 1. VLADIMIR PROPP (1895-1970)Propp was a Bulgarian theorist. In his 1922 work The Morphology of the Folk Tale heanalysed something like 400 Russian folk tales. He found that across all of thesetales, despite apparent differences, characters and their actions can be categorizedinto clearly defined roles and functions (8 character roles and 31 narrative functions)which are summarized here:The hero: seeks something, to fulfill a „lack‟ of some kindThe villain: opposed the hero, tries to make the hero failThe donor: aids the hero by providing an object with magical propertiesThe dispatcher: sends the hero on a quest of some kindThe false hero: pretends to be the heroThe helper: assists the hero in some wayThe princess: doubles up as a reward for the hero and the object of thevillain‟s plotHer father: will reward the hero (often by giving the hero his daughter)DARK KNIGHT RISES(which character fulfils this role and why?)Hero Batman – He is the person who is called upon to save the cityand everyone puts their faith in him. He eventually saves the day.Villain Bane – He is the villain who wants to destroy Gotham City.Donor Lucius Fox – He designs vehicles and gives Batman “The Bat”which is a flying vehicle.Doctor in „The Pit‟ – He fixes Bruce‟s back and teaches him tofear deathDispatcher John Blake – John goes to see Bruce Wayne and convinces himto return as Batman.Commissioner Gordon – When Bruce Wayne visits Gordon inhospital he tells him that they need the batman, he also tellsJohn to get batman to come back.False hero Miranda Tate – We are lead to believe that she is a good guy asshe works with Lucius Fox and Batman trusts her with the atombomb however we find out later in the film that she is in love withBane and is working with him to destroy Gotham.Helper Alfred – He is Batman‟s butler and provides emotional support forBruce, he also is his “helper” by job role and is his only family.Cat Woman – She works with Batman to defeat Bane andremove the bomb.John Blake – John helps Batman to defeat Bane and rescue‟sthe police from the sewer.Princess Selina Kyle – Batman falls for her at the end of the film.Miranda Tate – She sleeps with Bruce Wayne half way throughthe movie and he falls for her but then she reveals that she is a
  • 2. PROPP NARRATIVE FUNCTIONThese functions should not be seen just as events, actions or characters in themselves, but aselements in a narrative, which can occur at different places. The same action can have a differentmeaning depending on where it occurs.PREPARATIONA community (akingdom, family, etc.) ina state of order- Gotham city is safeA member of the familyleaves home- Alfred leaves Bruce WayneA prohibition/rule isimposed on the hero- Batman is wanted by the police so he is laying lowA prohibition / rule isignores or broken- Batman hunts down bane and exposes himself to thepoliceThe villain makes anattempt atreconnaissance; tries tofind something outabout the hero- Selina Kyle takes Bruce Wayne‟s finger prints as she isworking for bane at this pointThe villain learnssomething about hisvictim- Bane finds a letter of resignation in CommissionerGordon‟s jacket pocket, from this he learns that Batman isactually a heroThe villain tries todeceive the victim togain an advantage- Miranda Tate flirts with batman and becomes hisromantic interestThe victim is deceivedand unknowingly helpsthe villain- Batman gives the bomb to Miranda TateCOMPLICATIONThe state of order isdisrupted- Selina Kyle steals from Bruce and Bane overthrows theplaneThe villain harms amember of the family- Commissioner Gordon is shot by Bane and his followersA member of the familylacks or desiressomething- Alfred wants Bruce Wayne to leave Gotham Cityand start a family, he wants Bruce to be happy.This lack is madeknown to the hero whois sent on a quest- Alfred tells Bruce Wayne about Rachel‟s letter in whichshe admits that she doesn‟t love him“False Princess” and is really in love with Bane, she was simplytrying to gain Batman‟s trust.Father Ra‟s Al Ghul – He is Miranda Tate‟s father and when sheescaped from “The Pit” he went back and killed all of theprisoners except from Bane who had previously helped hisdaughter to escape. Following this however, when he found outthat Bane was in love with Miranda, he exiled him from TheLeague because he couldn‟t accept him as anything more than amonster.
  • 3. The hero plans actionagainst the villain- Batman goes up against BaneTRANSFERENCEThe hero leaves home - Bruce Wayne is put into „The Pit‟ by BaneThe hero is tested,attacked, interrogated:the hero receives help- Batman is beaten up by Bane on the streets in front ofthe town hallThe hero reacts to thedonor- Bruce Wayne learns to feel death, as the doctor in ThePit advised him to doThe hero is transferredto the location wherehe will fulfill his quest /task- Batman returns to Gotham CitySTRUGGLEThere is a strugglebetween the hero andthe villain- Batman and Bane have a fight in front of the town hallThe hero is branded - Bruce Wayne‟s back is brokenThe villain is defeated - Bane is shot by Cat WomanThe initial state of orderis restored / the lackfulfilled- The plan‟s made by Bane have failed and Gotham Cityis safe. Batman has disappeared and the lack is fulfilledRETURNThe hero returns - Batman returns from „The Pit‟ to Gotham CityThe hero is pursed - Batman is pursued by the police as they think he killedHarvey DentThe hero escapes / isrescued- Bruce Wayne escapes from „The Pit‟The hero arrives homeor some other place: heis not recognized- When Batman returns to Gotham City he finds that he isnot as powerful as he once was and that Bane has themost powerA false hero makes afalse claim- Miranda Tate claims that she will make „safe energy‟with the nuclear reactorThe hero is given adifficult task- Bruce Wayne must climb out of „The Pit‟The task isaccomplished- Bruce climb‟s out of „The Pit‟ and defeats BaneRECOGNITIONThe hero is recognized - Batman fly‟s the bomb away from Gotham CityThe false hero / villainis exposed- Miranda Tate stabs Batman between the ribsThe false hero / villaintransforms- We find out that Miranda and Bane are „doing it for love‟The false hero / villainis punished- Miranda Tate is trying to escape from Batman but shecrashes her carThe hero is rewarded(marries the princessand is grantedwealth/power)- Bruce Wayne has dinner in a restaurant with Selina Kyle