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  • MediaFilmExchange.co.uk Powerpoint

    1. 1. NARRATIVE THEORIES A number of narrative theories have evolved. They state that: I. All stories share certain features regardless of origin. II. Stories will be told differently depending on the text.
    2. 2. NARRATIVE THEORIES • TODOROV’S EQUILIBRIUM THEORY • BARTHES ENIGMA AND ACTION CODE • LEVI STRAUSS’S BINARY OPPOSITION • LINEAR NARRATIVE AND PARRALLEL ACTION • PROPP’S CHARACTER ROLES • CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD NARRATIVE • ANTI-NARRATIVE • MODE OF ADDRESS
    3. 3. TVEZTAN TODOROV He proposed that all media texts have a recurring formula. 1. Equilibrium: A narrative starts with a state of equilibrium or harmony, for example a peaceful community getting on with and enjoying life. A firm sense of social order is established. 2. Disequilibrium: Into this world of stability comes a force of disequilibrium or disruption; an evil outsider or an event, that disrupts this stability. 3. New equilibrium: By some mechanism, the evil is removed or the event is restored to a new harmony, in the form of a new equilibrium.
    4. 4. BARTHES ENIGMA AND ACTION CODE • Barthes argued that narrative works through a series of codes that are used to control the way in which information is given to the audience. Two of these codes are particularly important, to understand how narrative functions in media texts. I. Enigma Code: A narrative device that teases the audience by presenting a puzzle or riddle to be solved. For example is the hero going to survive. II. Action Code: A narrative device by which a resolution is produced through action, for example a shoot out. The action code is often considered to be present within the male genre.
    5. 5. Strauss’s Binary Opposition • Strauss claimed that narratives could only be understood through conflict, between oppositions – good versus evil. He called these oppositions binary oppositions. • Exercise: What are the binary oppositions in Simpsons.
    6. 6. LINEAR NARRATIVE AND PARALLEL ACTION • Linear Narrative: A plot that moves forward in a straight line without flashbacks or digressions. • Parallel Action: A narrative device in which two scenes are observed as happening at the same time by crosscutting between them.
    7. 7. PROPP’S CHARACTER THEORY • Vladmir Propp studied fairy stories and found that certain character types consistently repeated themselves, performing similar functions. Propp identified 8 characters and their functions. • Some characters perform more than one function. • He called them character roles or spheres of action. • Not all characters have to be present.
    8. 8. • The hero - Shrek • The villain – Lord Farquadd • The donor (offers gifts with magical properties) – fairy • Her father (rewards the hero for his efforts) – The resistance • The dispatcher (sends the hero on a mission) - Obi-Wan Konebi • The helper (aids the hero) – Chewbacca, Hans Solo • The princess (hero’s reward) – The Princess • False hero – Darth Vader
    9. 9. PROPP’S CHARACTER THEORY Star Wars • The hero - Luke • The villain – Darth Vader • The donor (offers gifts with magical properties) – Obi- Wan Konebi. • Her father (rewards the hero for his efforts) – The resistance • The dispatcher (sends the hero on a mission) - Obi- Wan Konebi • The helper (aids the hero) – Chewbacca, Hans Solo • The princess (hero’s reward) – The Princess • False hero – Darth Vader
    10. 10. CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD NARRATIVE (CHC) • The dominant form of storytelling in films is based on CHC. The narratives are easy to follow and the endings are often in the favour of good and the hero with whom we are positioned to empathise. These narratives are seen as satisfying and uplifting.
    11. 11. ANTI-NARRATIVE & MODE OF ADDRESS • Anti Narrative: A text that seeks deliberatively to disrupt narrative flow in order to achieve a particular effect, such as the repetition of images or the disruption of order of events. • Mode of address: The way in which a particular text will address or speak to its audience verbally or visually. This has important implications for the way in which the audience responds to the text. For example voice overs are used to convey factual information, which we the audience rarely challenge. • Another example is the way a children’s programmes mode of address will be different to the News.

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