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  1. 1. Media Studies LO: to understand the concept of ‘narrative’
  2. 2. What does narrative mean?
  3. 3. Write down the story of the following image:
  4. 4. What ‘clues’ did you use to work out the story?
  5. 5. How can you ‘read’ what the story is? <ul><li>IMAGE </li></ul><ul><li>TEXT </li></ul><ul><li>GENRE </li></ul><ul><li>MISE-EN-SCENE </li></ul><ul><li>EDITING </li></ul><ul><li>COMMON KNOWLEDGE </li></ul><ul><li>EXPECTATION </li></ul><ul><li>CONVENTIONS </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Narrative study is the study of the structures within stories. </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative theory suggests that we are able to comprehend and enjoy fictional Media stories because they are organised in a way that reflects the patterns and sturctures of our 'real lives'. The pattern of events in media stories reflect the chronology of real life as well as the causality. &quot;Action triggers reaction: each step has an effect which in turn becomes a new cause. &quot; (David Bordwell, 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>As we become involved with a chain of events we can start to anticipate their progress and possible conclusion. When our expectations are met, we are gratified and it gives us pleasure (in that we were right!) </li></ul>
  7. 7. The story: <ul><li>Story (fabula): consists 'of all the events in a narrative, both explicitly presented and inferred' - Bordwell and Thompson (2004) </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Plot: <ul><li>Plot (syuzhet): 'everything visibly and audibly present in the film before us: in other words those highly selected parts of the story which the narrative puts before us' - Bordwell and Thompson (2004) </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Narrative: <ul><li>Narrative: (narration) describes how a story is told, how the material is selected and arranged in order to achieve particular effects on the audience: linear or non-linear (episodic, flash-back etc ) Bordwell and Thompson (2004) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Structuralism: <ul><li>A belief that there is structure in all things – that items within a certain paradigm (a class of elements with similarities) follow specific patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Ferdinand de Saussure </li></ul>
  11. 11. Write down a well known story in brief: <ul><li>E.g.Red Riding Hood </li></ul>
  12. 12. A simple story: <ul><li>Red Riding Hood: </li></ul><ul><li>- RRH is asked by mother to visit grandmother </li></ul><ul><li>- she is warned not to stop </li></ul><ul><li>- she sets off and meets the wolf - picks flowers </li></ul><ul><li>- in the meantime the wolf runs ahead, eats grandma and puts on </li></ul><ul><li>night clothes </li></ul><ul><li>- RRH arrives and sees grandmother: big eyes etc </li></ul><ul><li>- Wolf eats RRH </li></ul><ul><li>- woodcutter hears commotion kills wolf and rescues RRH and </li></ul><ul><li>grandmother </li></ul><ul><li>- RRH says she will never stop in woods again etc </li></ul>
  13. 13. TODOROV <ul><li>All stories begin with an 'equilibrium' - an established and balanced place &quot;Once upon a time...&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>This is disrupted by an event (dis-equilibrium)setting in motion a chain of events which eventually close with another equilibrium or status quo. </li></ul><ul><li>equilibrium - disruption – equilibrium </li></ul><ul><li>NB: an unresolved ending is rare - audiences like questions answered and a denouement or unravelling at the end as in the classic Hollywood narrative. However, it is used as a continuity device in series such as soap operas to encourage audience loyalty. </li></ul>
  14. 14. PROPP <ul><li>Propp: 8 character roles or spheres of action (a character and his/her actions are inseparable) </li></ul><ul><li>- the villain </li></ul><ul><li>- the hero or character who seeks something usually motivated by an </li></ul><ul><li>initial lack (money, mother etc) </li></ul><ul><li>- the donor - provides an object with some magic property </li></ul><ul><li>- the helper - who aids the hero </li></ul><ul><li>- the princess - reward for the hero and often object of the villains </li></ul><ul><li>schemes </li></ul><ul><li>- her father - rewards the hero </li></ul><ul><li>- the dispatcher - sends the hero on his way </li></ul><ul><li>- the false hero </li></ul><ul><li>NB: A 'hero' in life is usually a male and 'heroic' has the moral connotations of being 'admirable and good' - however here it means someone who carries the events of the story. </li></ul>
  15. 15. BARTHES <ul><li>5 codes - activate the reader to make sense of 'narrative' or meaning within a text: </li></ul><ul><li>- action code - meaning of specific words, actions or looks </li></ul><ul><li>- enigma code - puzzles set up to be solved by audience </li></ul><ul><li>- the semic code - the connotations of a character/place/object </li></ul><ul><li>- the symbolic code - metaphor or figure of representation </li></ul><ul><li>- cultural code - connections to the world outside the text </li></ul>
  16. 16. LEVI-STRAUSS <ul><li>all meaning-making based on binary oppositions - a conflict between two qualities or terms. </li></ul><ul><li>Applies to sets of narratives as opposed to individual stories: i.e. Westerns: </li></ul><ul><li>homesteaders Native Americans </li></ul><ul><li>Christian Pagan </li></ul><ul><li>domestic savage </li></ul><ul><li>weak strong </li></ul><ul><li>feminine masculine </li></ul><ul><li>garden wilderness </li></ul><ul><li>inside society outside society </li></ul><ul><li>Fighting in Afghanistan (Gulf War 1991): </li></ul><ul><li>east west </li></ul><ul><li>barbarism civilisation </li></ul><ul><li>feudal modern </li></ul><ul><li>despotism democracy </li></ul><ul><li>fundamentalism freedom </li></ul><ul><li>backward 'dirty'weapons modern 'clean' weapons - 'surgical strikes' evil good </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Narrative theory can be applied to any text: the news, adverts, music promos etc </li></ul><ul><li>If using narrative form the texts will: </li></ul><ul><li>- group its events in cause and effect order </li></ul><ul><li>- create a sense of characters, action, enigma codes etc (use of stereotypes for speed i.e. blond hair) </li></ul><ul><li>- have an initial situation which is disrupted or altered then resolved </li></ul><ul><li>When watching a text ask: </li></ul><ul><li>- does it begin and end rather than start and stop? </li></ul><ul><li>- are the people constructed as characters? </li></ul><ul><li>- does it make you want to ask questions? </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li> </li></ul>Watch the following video and try to apply an element of narrative theory in your discussion: mention disruption and re-establishment of equilibrium or apply character role labels etc
  19. 19. Production Task: <ul><li>To plan (treatment, storyboard) and produce a photo story on a ‘teen issue’. You must include at least 8 shots and at least three different shot types to construct your narrative. </li></ul><ul><li>You must then analyse your story making reference to at least two structuralist theories. </li></ul><ul><li>Must be uploaded to your blogs by Oct 31 st . </li></ul>