Task 1- Propp’s theory of characters and functions.
Vladimir Prop who was a Russian and soviet formalist who founded
the Propp’s theory. This theory consists of there being a conclusion of
31 elements of plot types and 8 character types that are involved
with most stories.
The 8 character types are Villain, hero, helper, princess/prize, her
farther, the donor, the false hero and the dispatcher.
Applying this theory to my graphic narrative of a children’s story it
uses some of these 8 character types.
The hero- the hero in my story is the prince. The prince saves
Rapunzel and kills the Witch. The prince also plays the part of the
Witch’s victim as she tries to trick him into thinking its Rapunzel so
she can destroy him.
The princess/prize- this character type is linked to Rapunzel she is
the princess who gets saved from the tower by the hero.
Villain- the villain is the witch in my children’s story she is the one
who is betrayed as morally bad due to locking Rapunzel in a tower.
She is against the hero (the prince) and she prevents the hero by
reaching their goal (saving the princess) she puts the hero off track to
get the princess.
These characters in my story present three of the eight character
types that are in the Propp’s theory. These conclude that my story
uses mostly three main ones
The other five character types include…
The Donor- gives the hero something special like a magical weapon
or information that helps them complete their quest. Example=
Turtle off finding nemo.
Helper – support the hero, not as well as the hero, sidekick of their
quest. Supplies support for the hero. Example = Donkey- Shrek
The princess’ farther- gives the hero the task. Not a very popular
character type in modernised stories. It is a tricky character to find in
stories. Example= Fiona’s Farther- Shrek
The false hero- mistaken for the hero, steals the heroes thunder, tries
to grab the credit, and may want the princess/prize. Example= prince
The Dispatcher – sends the hero on the mission, family member
usually. The dispatcher may be combined with another role.
Example= Lord Fardquaad- Shrek
These character types do not fit into my story and I have two extra
characters the Husband and wife which are Rapunzel parents but
they do not involve any of these roles therefore they do not have a
category to fall into.
The Propp’s functions are the 31 elements that Prop consisted that
are in a story. My graphic narrative includes some of these functions
that make up the story. The functions that this includes are…
Reconnaissance- the Villain seeks something. In my children’s story
the villain seeks the prince visiting Rapunzel in the tower.
Delivery- when the villain gains information. The villain gains the
information that the hero (prince) is visiting Rapunzel everyday in
Trickery- the villain tries to deceive victim. The witch tries
deliberately to make the prince believe he is climbing Rapunzel hair
when actually the hair is not with Rapunzel but with the witch. The
victim at this point of the story is the hero who is in a vulnerable
Mediation- hero discovers the lack. The Prince discovers that it’s not
actually Rapunzel but the Witch pretending to be Rapunzel.
Beginning counter- action- the hero chooses a positive action- the
action the prince chooses is to push the Witch out of the window.
Then Rapunzel is free from the Witch as the Witch is then gone.
Departure- the hero goes on the mission. The Prince goes and tries to
find Rapunzel to bring her back to the kingdom and save her.
Guidance- The hero reaches the destination. The prince reaches the
woods and finds Rapunzel.
Rescue- The pursuit ends. The search for Rapunzel ends and he saves
Rapunzel and goes back to the kingdom.
Wedding- the hero marries and ascends the throne. The Prince takes
Rapunzel back to the kingdom where they get marries and live
happily ever after.
In conclusion my story uses nine functions out of the thirty-one
elements of the Propp’s theory. The functions are used mostly
towards the end of my story, as the start of the story does not include
The equilibrium, Disequilibrium and New equilibrium is a theory by
Todorov. The theory is that all narratives follow the same path. There
are 3-5 step versions of this idea.
Equilibrium- this is where the story starts. The normal everyday
occurrences and day-to-day activities that the character get ups to.
This part is before the action starts and everything is still in
normality before it goes wrong.
Disequilibrium- this is where the story really starts. An event
happens which disrupts the life of our characters. This is different
than the normal day-to-day life, which causes havoc, and causes the
character/s have a reaction to the event. It is suppose to throw the
character off track.
New equilibrium- the end of the story, things go back to normal or
some kind of normality. May be a new version of normal. Things will
then continue normal.
Applying these steps to my work…
Equilibrium- The start is where the husband and wife live in a
kingdom and the wife is expecting her first-born child and she wants
to eat the rampion.
Disequilibrium- this part in the story is when the Husband gets
caught by the witch and has to give the witch their first-born child.
This something that disrupts their lives and causes havoc in which
leads on the rest of the story. The character of Rapunzel is thrown of
track as she grows up witch the Witch leading her to be locked away
in the tower.
New equilibrium- Is when the prince finds Rapunzel and takes her
back to the kingdom where they get married everything is back to
normal and there is normality through their lives.
Binary opposition Claude Levi Strauss, a French theorist, came up
with the idea of binary opposition. The idea is that there can only be
a story when two opposing sides come together. The conflicts
between these two sides are what drive the story.
In my graphic narrative of a children’s story the two opposite sides of
the story that come together and Good Vs Evil. The Evil side comes
from the Witch. Then the good side comes from the Prince and
Rapunzel. There is a constant trend of heroes and villains throughout
the story which links with the binary opposition of good vs. evil.
Task 2 – Types of structures.
There are opposite types of structures that can be applied to work.
Open- open narratives do not reach a conclusion. They go on and on.
Soaps and comic books are good examples because they run from
episode to episode.
Close- close narrative is when there is a conclusion and the narrative
reaches the end with media text. The story starts and finishes within
about 90 minutes or more.
Single strand – A single strand narrative has just one storyline.
Children’s books often have a single strand narrative as they struggle
to cope with more than that.
Multi-strand – A multi-strand narrative has many different storylines.
Again, a soap opera is a good example of this as it features lots of
storylines about lots of characters.
Linear – Linear narratives start at the beginning and go straight
through the story to the end. All the events happen in order. Each
step of the story follows the next. It’s a simple but popular method of
storytelling. Films, books and journalism often use a linear narrative.
Non-linear – Non-linear narratives don’t go through the story in a
straight line. They may use flash backs and flash-forwards to jump
around in time.
Realist – Realist narratives reflection ‘real life’. They are believable
events that could happen to almost anyone. Realist narratives are
interested in the day-to-day reality of people lives.
Anti-realist – The opposite of realist narratives. They involve events,
characters and locations, which are highly unlikely if not impossible
to find in real life.
Following these types of structure my graphic narratives follows the
structure of a Close narrative. It reaches an end ‘Happily Ever After’
and there is a conclusion that good won and defeated the evil. There
is a beginning at the book then a finish at the end.
Considering my story is a children’s book it obviously follows the
structure of the single-strand narrative. The story is one story and
does not have multi storylines combined in one story. It’s aimed at
children and as children may struggle to keep up with multiple
stories lines that’s why it’s a single strand as it consists of one story
which is easy for children to follow.
It’s a linear story, which links to it being a closed story. It starts at the
beginning and goes straight through to the end. Each step of my story
follows the next step. This has an anti -realist structure because it’s
an fantasy story it does not reflect to real life events and it is a story
tale which is a made up story regarding the beginning text ‘Once
upon a time in a kingdom far away’ The Witch character in my story
is not realist and the climbing of a girl with very long hair is not
realist as that would be impossible for that to happen.
Task 3- Evaluating concepts
Image Construction- In my graphic novel I chose to use the method of
illustration to make my work authentic and traditional as possible for
a children’s fairytale story. I chose to draw at my images so to
construct I used coloured pencils and paper then uploaded them onto
the computer. The overall visual appearance of my images wasn’t up
to the standard that I wanted. My method involved having skill so I
had to try my best to make my images as good as possible to make
them of a high quality. I used bright colours to attract young children
and make the book colourful and have a positive aspect instead of it
being dark and not appropriate for young children. . I also used
photography in my images for the backgrounds. I took the Photos
myself then I used the filter gallery to put a filter on the photography
and changed the effect to make it look like it had been drawn. I used
the coloured pencil effect as that linked with my drawn images and
made the photos I took of hills and woods look drawn rather than an
actual picture. I used the contrast and brightness to change the look
of the image and make it be brighter and be bolder on my page. The
quality did not look that professional because I hand drew them but
they work well the concept of the children’s book being a traditional
and vintage fairytale.
They are linked
Anchorage. The text I used anchored my images as I
together in the same
used a combination of words that
you would see in a traditional
fairytale such as ‘Kingdom’, ‘Once
upon a time’ and ‘Happily ever
after’ these words anchored the
images by showing the traditional
values of my work. I place the
images next to the appropriate
piece of writing that explained
that picture for example on the
first page the first image of the
kingdom is next to fist piece of
text about there being a kingdom
far away. I placed the images and text like this to make it easy for
children to understand and follow the story through the text and
pictures. The text gives the image content. Without the images we
wouldn’t know what was going in the story and we wouldn’t know
what the pictures meant. For example on page four. The prince in the
bottom text I placed the text on plain backgrounds to make it easy to
read. This is also appeal to children so they can read it clearly.
Signification. I used symbolic elements in my work and signs that
represent things. These show extra meaning to my work. On page t
here I have the Witch and Rapunzel. The Witch is a lot darker in
brightness and contrast that Rapunzel this shows that the Witch is
more evil than Rapunzel and that she is a bad character. The
brightness of Rapunzel shows her good natured and her angelic
aspect. The Witch is wearing black this has properties of death and
evil. This shows that the Witch is a morally bad character in the book
and she is the character type of a villain. Rapunzel is wearing a red
and green dress. I chose these colours because red has connotations
of love, desire and passion. Rapunzel has these qualities of her
because as soon as the prince sees her he falls instantly in love with
her, also she forever wants the desire to be saved from the tower and
she’s very passionate about the prince. These qualities make her even
more of an angelic positive character and link her to the character
type of the princess who needs to be saved. The green indicates
harmony, fertility, nature this shows that the princes is in the middle
of the woods surrounded by nature and she is a girl who wants to live
in harmony and that is t be saved from the Witch. I chose to put the
Prince in purple because this symbolizes power and royalty, which
for the prince it shows that he is the hero and he saves the day and
indicates the traditional story of the prince saving the princess. I
crated the background of Rapunzel quite dark and made Rapunzel
bright this is so she stands out and she looks like she is not supposed
to be there and she’s surrounding by evilness.
Representation. My work represents the group of genders very
strong throughout the story. It represents Males as being strong and
powerful and females are portrayed as weak as and less significant
than the male. The prince is the one who is the hero and he saves
Rapunzel and defeats the Witch. Then Rapunzel never tries to defend
herself and lets the prince rescue her, which represents her as a
gender that she is powerless and vulnerable. My graphic narrative
represents the religion of Witchcraft and paganism as evil and bad.
Most of traditional fairytales such as sleeping beauty and snow white
include the religion in which is portrayed in evil way. This is because
when the fairytale was written in the time period they saw ‘Witches’
as evil women who were Satan worshipers. Paganism is show in a
negative way this is because the Witch is the villain who locks
Rapunzel in the tower and tries to kill the prince. In snow white the
witch is also portrayed as the evil villain who tries to kill Snow white.
Women in this book are portrayed as negative and helpless as they
are weak or evil. Men in this book are portrayed as masculine and
positive. I wanted to keep the book very traditional authentic so I
kept the roles like they are to show the traditional values, because of
the time period of it being written that is why men are seen as more
significant than women and Witches are seen as evil.
Historical and cultural context. The story Rapunzel has many
different versions of it. There are dark versions and happier versions.
The story varies over many counties, which have different titles and
different kinds of story lines but still have a beautiful girl trapped in
the tower. For example, an Italian folk’s tales of Rapunzel includes a
beautiful girl being trapped in the tower but the Witch is her
stepmother who is jealous. This follows the same main characters but
parts of the story are changed. As there is a different version of the
story that varies I changed my ending to make it a lot more child
friendly. I made the prince defeat the Witch and they live happily
ever after to show the heroic features of a prince character.
Comparing this with the original version the
Witch defeats the prince and he is blinded and it
takes him years to find Rapunzel. This was the
original Brothers Grimm version published in
1812. The story tale has also got many film
versions of it. In 2010 Disney released an
animated version called ‘Tangled’ this version is
a very updated version to our society as it takes
our current society views on women being equal
to men and this version shows this by Rapunzel
not being such a vulnerable and helpless
character and she’s very independent. It still
follows some original features like a Prince the
tower and the long hair. But as integrated with
modern aspects to update the way the story is
The story is set in Germany, as it is a Germanic folk tale. This is why it
mentions a lot of castles and towers and woods. Fairytales such as
snow white and sleeping beauty also include castles and deep dark
woods to. It’s a convention of a classic traditional fairytale because of
the period it was written in.
This is the 2010 Disney film. As you can
see it’s very different from the traditional
version as Rapunzel is at the front look
fearless and brave and not vulnerable and
weak. The roles have changed round and
the prince is the one that looks helpless
and weak holding a ‘frying pan’ this makes
Production processes. My work is spread
over a horizontal page and I have placed two pieces of text and two
images to go with the text on each page this made my story shorter in
pages. This worked well as it made my story flow together better. My
work was quite difficult to get it the way that I wanted it was hard to
find the right effects and the method I chose was quite difficult as it
involved being skilled in that area. I tried my best when drawing out
the pictures but the look I was going for included traditional images.
Technically my work worked well. It wasn’t hard to put it together on
the computer and I was able to design the images with filters and
effects to make them to how I wanted. I used Photoshop to create my
work which was good as I could warp images and customise the sizes
and layout in a very easy way to create an authentic look.
I was quite creative with my work
and wanted it to be in cloud like
format by using a rubber to rub
around the edges to not give it that
harsh line between the page and the
image so I blended the image the
background and let it fade out. I did it
in a messy way to reflect on Children
having a crazy imagine. Which fairy tales are all
about? They allow children to have a fantasy
imagination. I haven’t done very noticeable creative
aspects of my work as I wanted a traditional story
with authentic images. If I was to do this project again
I would be a lot more imaginative with my story and
change it to another version and be wild with my
images. I would change the way I did it and do it a lot
darker version and change it into a graphic novel. This would be very
interesting and a more original as it’s a idea which hasn’t be explored
that much after researching the different versions online.
My time management went really well I was able to finish with plenty
of time to make sure my work was perfect and I went over and
checked spelling and grammar. I stuck to my schedule and it was
really useful as everyday it showed me what I needed to achieve on
that day and what I needed to get up to. I managed to stick to the
schedule by making sure I did everything from AM to PM right from
the beginning. I made sure at the end of each day I had completed all
the tasks I has set myself that day. This allowed me to have a lot of
time at the end to make sure I had done a good job.