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Storytelling in Folktale and Novel forms


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This is a PPT I designed for a friend who was doing a comparative analysis on the Folktale and Novel form of Storytelling. This was for her Refresher's Course at Mumbai University.

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Storytelling in Folktale and Novel forms

  1. 1. Storytelling in the Folktale and Novel forms: a Comparison - Lalrinmawii Tochhawng
  2. 2. “Man is in his actions and practice, as well as in his fictions, essentially a story-telling animal.” - Alasdair MacIntyre “Both oral and written literature can and do share a fictive, creative aspect and it is now possible to use the word literature for them both.” Robert Kellogg (1973)
  3. 3. STORY: A story provides a desirable, discernible meaning and purpose, giving its audience a dramatic journey leading to a resolution of life-like situations and events.
  4. 4. Tools of Storytelling: Suspense, elements of character development, plot construction, pattern, motif, symbolism etc. 3-act structure of Beginning, Middle and End is at the core of every story. MIDDLEBEGINNING END
  5. 5. PROCESS OF CREATION: Authorless Folktale Novel Known author Series of narrators Single author Extra individuals Product of individual Alters with every telling Remains constant
  6. 6. “Heavy residue of primary orality” (Walter J.Ong) is found in the ‘oral performance’ mode found in the novel through the persona of the “narrator” created by the author or in the omniscient voice “telling” the story.
  7. 7. ELEMENTS OF THE STORY: Style: The folktale employs economical language with minimal description and heavy reliance on dialogues and formulaic patterns. It is marked by stock scenes, repetition of themes, motifs, phrases and the technique of stylized intensification. The novel relies heavily on the author’s language to create a style that would best suit the exposition of the work’s theme. It would be impossible to consider the ‘style’ of the novel as a form, taking into consideration the individualistic nature of its creation.
  8. 8. Theme: Folktale themes appear simple and straightforward but are often serious and powerful. The novel opens itself up for a greater variety in interpretation and makes it possible for the reader to look at different aspects and uncover diverse understandings. A structuralist approach to narrative systems reveal the use of basic units such as motifs, types, characters and combinations of sentences that form the discourse of the narrative.
  9. 9. Characters: A folktale’s characters are usually flat, simple, and straightforward, either completely good or completely evil with no psychological insights into their ‘inner’ beings. Stereotypes are commonly found. Characters, in both the folktale, and the novel, operate to make the story’s movement visible and concrete. The novelist develops his characters to explore the value of human experiences and they grow with the development of the story. They are invested with a sense of interior consciousness and psychological depth and are Much more than archetypes.
  10. 10. Novels demonstrate a return to narrative, to storytelling centred on a sequence of events. The concept of one person telling a story and of the ‘speaking’ voice coupled with the notion of an audience that participates through its reaction and interpretation of the literary work- as in the telling of a folktale, continues to lie at the root of the narratives that make up the form of the mainstream novel.
  11. 11. THANK YOU