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Narrative theories

Narrative theories



This is a powerpoint on narrative theories for my A2 media music video.

This is a powerpoint on narrative theories for my A2 media music video.



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    Narrative theories Narrative theories Presentation Transcript

    • Narrative Theory
    • Narrative: the way in which a story is told in both fictional and non-fictional media texts.
    • Claude Levi-Strauss
      • Social Anthropologist.
      • Studied myths of tribal cultures.
      • Examined how stories unconsciously reflect the values, beliefs and myths of a culture.
      • These are usually expressed in the form of binary oppositions .
      • His research has been adapted by media theorists to reveal underlying themes and symbolic oppositions in media texts.
    • Binary Oppositions
      • A conflict between two qualities or terms.
      • For example 1970’s Western films:
      • Homesteaders Native Americans
      • christian pagan
      • domestic savage
      • weak strong
      • garden wilderness
      • inside society outside society
    • Tzvetan Todorov
      • Bulgarian literary theorist
      • Suggests most narratives start with a state of equilibrium in which life is ‘normal’ and protagonists happy.
      • This state of normality is disrupted by an outside force, which has to be fought against in order to return to a state of equilibrium.
      • This model can easily be applied to a wide range of films.
    • Equilibrium Disequilibrium New Equilibrium
    • Vladimir Propp
      • Russian critic and literary theorist.
      • Analysed over 100 Russian fairytales in the 1920s.
      • He proposed that it was possible to classify the characters and their actions into clearly defined roles and functions.
      • Films such as Star Wars fit Propp’s model precisely, but a a significant number of more recent films such as Pulp Fiction do not.
      • The model is useful, however as it highlights the similarities between seemingly quite different stories.
    • Propp’s Character Roles
      • The hero (seeks something)
      • The villain (opposes the hero)
      • The donor (helps the hero by providing a magic object)
      • The dispatcher (sends the hero on his way)
      • The false hero (falsely assuming the role of hero)
      • The helper (gives support to the hero)
      • The princess (the reward for the hero, but also needs protection from the villain)
      • Her father
    • Roland Barthes
      • French semiologist.
      • Suggested that narrative works with five different codes which activate the reader to make sense of it.
      • (also used the terms denotation and connotation to analyse images)
    • Barthes’ Codes
      • Action – a narrative device by which a resolution is produced through action, e.g. a shoot-out.
      • Enigma – a narrative device that teases the audience by presenting a puzzle or riddle to be solved. Works to delay the story’s ending pleasurably.
      • Symbolic – (connotation)
      • Semic – (denotation)
      • Cultural – a narrative device which the audience can recognise as being part of a culture e.g. a “made man” in a gangster film is part of the mafia culture.