THE NARRATIVE THEORIES IS A STORY WHICH
HAS BEEN TOLD IN A FICTIONAL AND ALSO IN
Types of narratives…
LINEAR- The story is told in chronological order.
NON LINEAR- Where events are portrayed, not in
chronological order, or in other ways where the narrative does
not follow the direct causality pattern for example flash backs.
PARALLEL- When two films or events are happening in a film at
the same time and the story cuts between them.
Tzventan Todorov. Claude Levi-Strauss.
This theory depends on conflict between two
opposites (binary oppositions) for example,
-rich and poor
-Good and evil
And the result of the conflict resolves the
Narratives depend on conflict to
create a disequilibrium(a
vulnerability) . The resolution of
these conflicts create a new
2-Disruption of the Equilibrium
3-Recognision of the disruption.
4-An attempt to repair the
5- New Equilibrium.
Naritives move forward through a series of codes which the audience understands. Enigma
codes create ”mini cliff hangers” which are made to make the audience to try and solve
which makes the audience more engaged.
Roland Barthes said there are 5 codes that the audience understands-
1- Referential code (refers to external body knowledge ie historic/scientific)
2- Symbolic (tension and character development)
3- Semantic code (when the text suggests additional meaning)
4- Proairetic/ Action code (elements of action in the text)
5- Hermeneutic/ Enigma code (a problem that needs to be solved)
He believed that narratives were based around character types and actions which the
audience recognises which creates an automatic emotion/feeling such as sympathy or distrust .
These feelings when the sympathetic character wins satisfies the audience.
Character types Actions
• Hero -Preparation.
• Villain -Complication
• Donor -Transference
• Dispatcher -Struggle
• The false hero - Return
• The helper -Recognition
• The princess
How our opening fits
in/ or doesn’t…
Our story fits a couple of these narrative theories one for example is the study by Claude Levi-Strauss as
we have a balance of two themes in our opening film sequence (life and death) as in our sequence it
shows the death of a loved one and then cuts back to them 10 years before when they were living.
Also the Roland Barthes narrative theory fits our film as at the start of our opening you can see the
church so the audience can feel the emotion of sadness as they can tell someone's died making the
audience more engaged as they want to find out what has happened.
The study of Tzvetan Todorov is also suitable for our because the death of the character creates a
vulnerability for the audience.
Vladimir Propp doesn’t really fit our opening sequence as we don’t have a hero or a villain in our