Narrative theory lesson 1

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Narrative theory lesson 1

  1. 1. Narrative Theory Media Studies AS
  2. 2. Narrative: the way in which a story is told in both fictional and non-fictional media texts.
  3. 3. Vladimir Propp <ul><li>Russian critic and literary theorist. </li></ul><ul><li>Analysed over 100 Russian fairytales in the 1920s. </li></ul><ul><li>He proposed that it was possible to classify the characters and their actions into clearly defined roles and functions. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>The model is useful, however as it highlights the similarities between seemingly quite different stories. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Propp’s Character Roles <ul><li>The hero (seeks something) </li></ul><ul><li>The villain (opposes the hero) </li></ul><ul><li>The donor (helps the hero by providing a magic object) </li></ul><ul><li>The dispatcher (sends the hero on his way) </li></ul><ul><li>The false hero (falsely assuming the role of hero) </li></ul><ul><li>The helper (gives support to the hero) </li></ul><ul><li>The princess (the reward for the hero, but also needs protection from the villain) </li></ul><ul><li>Her father </li></ul>
  5. 5. Tzvetan Todorov <ul><li>Bulgarian literary theorist </li></ul><ul><li>Suggests most narratives start with a state of equilibrium in which life is ‘normal’ and protagonists happy. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>This model can easily be applied to a wide range of films. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Equilibrium Disequilibrium New Equilibrium
  7. 7. Task: <ul><li>Apply the two narrative theorists we have covered today to the following clip . </li></ul><ul><li>One character may fulfil more than on role and one of Propp’s characters doesn’t necessarily take human form in a narrative. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Equalibrium <ul><li>On a high mountain plain lives a lamb with wool of such remarkable sheen that he breaks into a high steppin dance. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Disequilibrium <ul><li>But there comes a day when he loses his lustrous coat and, along with it, his pride. </li></ul>
  10. 10. New Equilibrium <ul><li>It takes a wise Jackalope – a horn adorned rabbit- to teach the moping lamb that woolly or not, it’s what’s inside that’ll help him rebound from life’s troubles. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Hero Seeks happiness following the visit of the ‘van’ which leaves him without his lustrous coat
  12. 12. The Villain <ul><li>The farmer / van which arrives and takes the sheep’s coat. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Donor <ul><li>The Jackalope. He teaches the lamb to jump and be happy </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Dispatcher <ul><li>It’s the Jackalope again! </li></ul>
  15. 15. The helper <ul><li>Once again, it’s the Jackalope </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Princess <ul><li>It’s the contented happiness which the lamb gets from his new found boundin’ prowess, along with the respect of his friends. </li></ul>

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