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Tom Brett
Task 9 – Narrative Structure
Vladimir Propp was a Russian Scholar who analyzed the plot components of folk
tales...
Tom Brett
Claude Levi Strauss was a French theorist who thought of the idea of binary
opposition, which is the thought tha...
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Task 9 – narrative structure

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Narrative structure

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Task 9 – narrative structure

  1. 1. Tom Brett Task 9 – Narrative Structure Vladimir Propp was a Russian Scholar who analyzed the plot components of folk tales to identify their narrative elements. He came to the conclusion that most folk tales are made up of 31 plot elements, he also found that there’s only 8 character types even though there are a lot of characters in the folk tales. The hero in my story is Goldilocks because she is the person who we follow and learn about throughout the whole story, she leads the narrative therefore she is the person we want to succeed. The three bears in my story are seen as the villains, this is because the audience are supporting Goldilocks throughout the book and they never read or know anything about the bears until the end. The bears should not be seen as the villains because they have done nothing wrong, its Goldilocks who has broken into the bears’ house. I have decided that the prize in the story is the house in the form of refuge for Goldilocks; this is because she was lost in the first scene of my book so she could be looking for some rest and food. I don’t have a character in my book that could play the role of the donor, an example of a character who is the donor in a movie would be Yoda from Star Wars, this is because he gives useful advice that helps Luke to grow strength and complete his mission. An example of a helper would be Han Solo from Star Wars; this is because he helps at critical moments and supports the hero through the story. Another character type is the princess’ father, an example of this is The King from Shrek, and this character type is usually the person who the hero tries to persuade, because they are normally extremely protective of his daughter. This character can also be seen as competition for the hero because they both want to get affection from the princess. The false hero is another character type that Propp developed; the false hero usually acts heroically and at first may be mistaken as being the real hero. They will try to take all the hero’s credit and will act like they have done everything; an example of a false hero is Prince Charming from Shrek. The last character that was developed by Propp is a character type known as the dispatcher; this is the character that sends the hero on their mission. The dispatcher could be revealed to be the false hero or even the villain. Todorov was a Russian structuralist who believed that most, if not all narratives followed a similar simple path to each other; usually this idea contains 3 or 5 steps depending on the version. The first step is known as the equilibrium, this is where the story starts, normally the characters are living their life normally and everything seems to be going fine. In my book the equilibrium is when Goldilocks is walking around the forest. The next step is known as the disequilibrium, this is when an event in the story happens that disrupts the life of the characters, and it can be a big or small event. In my book the disequilibrium is when Goldilocks finds the house because that would not normally happen every day in her life. The last step is known as the new equilibrium, this is at the end of the story where things return to normal or as normal as they can be. There is not a new equilibrium in my story because it ends with Goldilocks running away from the house which isn’t her going back to her normal life.
  2. 2. Tom Brett Claude Levi Strauss was a French theorist who thought of the idea of binary opposition, which is the thought that there can only be a story if two opposing sides come together, usually it is good vs evil or police vs criminals. In my story the two opposing sides are human’s vs animals because of the small amount of conflict in the last few scenes in the book where the bears confront Goldilocks. There are different types of structures, for example open and closed. Open narratives do not reach a conclusion by the end of the book or show, this usually happens with stories that run continuously on soap operas or comic books. Closed narratives reach their conclusion by the end of the book or show. My story is closed because it has an end to it where Goldilocks is running away from the house. Another two types of structure are single strand, where there is only one storyline and multi-strand where there a many different storylines. I have decided to make my story single stranded because that is what it is originally, plus my book is targeted to children aged between 2-5 so having different storylines will be too complex for them. One more set of structure styles are linear and Non-linear. Linear stories are stories in which everything happens in time order, most forms of storytelling happens like this, Non-linear narratives are where there are flash backs and flash forwards causing the story to not go in a straight line. I have made my story linear because that is what it is like originally, it may also confuse the audience too much. The final two structure types are realist which is where the narrative reflects on real life and anti-realist which is where the narrative is about things that are impossible to happen in real life. My story is anti-realist because it includes talking bears that live like humans.

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