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Narrative theorists

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  • 1. NARRATIVE THEORY
  • 2. PROPPVladimir Propp was a Russian scholar who studied the basic structure of fairy tales to discover their elements. He discovered that within every narrative there is a set of stock characters which appear. These are: • Hero – person on the quest • Princess – prize for the hero • Helper – helps hero on quest • False hero – someone who believes they are the hero • Dispatcher – sends the hero on their quest • Father – rewards the hero • Villain – attempts to prevent hero from finishing his quest • Donor – provides objects to help hero on his quest
  • 3. IS THIS RELEVANT?Although we do have characters in our piece, it’s hard todistinguish them into different sections like Propp has. Idon’t think that we will really be using his theory within our work, and I think that it is more relevant for films, television and novels rather than music videos.
  • 4. STRAUSS Levi Strauss’ theory states that in every media text there are binary opposition or a conflict between two opposites. Theaudience subconsciously knows who should win, and this theme can make a political theme within a text. Some examples are: • Good vs evil • Rich vs poor • East vs west • Love vs hate
  • 5. IS THIS RELEVANT? The only real binary opposition that will feature withinour music video is the opposition between the two main females. The girl in the white dress is very much a victim, whereas the ballerina in black is more like the bully, as portrayed by the animals running from her.
  • 6. BARTHES Roland Barthes was a French literary theorist who identified fivedifferent codes by which a narrative story captures the attention of the audience. They are: •The enigma code – the audience is intrigued by needing to solve a problem •The action code – the audience is excited by the need to resolve a problem•The semantic code – the audience is directed to an additional meaning by use of connotation •The symbolic code – the audience forms their expectations based on generic conventions, eg. Black = evil•The cultural code – the audience derives meaning from shared cultural knowledge about the way the world works.
  • 7. IS THIS RELEVANT?Our video is quite entropic, and doesn’t have a linear storyline, soit is hard to apply this theory. However, the audience are intrigued by small details of the storyline, for example who is the girl inblack, and why does she scare the animals? Also, they assume thatthe girl in black is evil, and the girl in white is good and innocent. Therefore, the symbolic and enigma code relate to our music video.
  • 8. TODOROVTzvetan Todorov was a Franco-Bulgarian philosopher whose theory states that in a media text there are five stages: Original equilibrium Disruption Recognition (of the disruption) Attempt to restore equilibrium New equilibrium
  • 9. IS THIS RELEVANT?As stated before, our storyline is non linear and doesn’t follow a chronological pattern. Therefore, these stagesdon’t really feature in our video at all, and so Todorov is the least relevant of all the narrative theorists.

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