Vladmir Propp examined hundreds of folk tales tosee if they shared any structures. He identified eightcharacter roles and thirty one narrative functions.All of the character roles and different functionspresented by Propp can be applied to all kinds ofnarrative for example; in an action movie we areoften presented with heroes and villains.
Propp’s eight character roles.The villain— strugglesagainst the hero-The Hero – is the one whostrives to do good but oftenneeds help (lacks something)The dispatcher—characterwho makes the lack knownand sends the hero off-The helper — helps the heroin the journey
The princess or prize — the herodeserves her throughout the story but isunable to marry her because of an unfairevil, usually because of the villain. theheros journey is often ended when hemarries the princess, thereby beating thevillain-Her father — gives the task to the hero,identifies the false hero, marries the hero,often sought for during the narrative -
The donor —prepares thehero or gives the hero somemagical object-False hero — takes credit forthe hero’s actions or tries tomarry the princess-
Bordwell and Thompson never did come up witha complete narrative theory, they did howevercome up with some interesting ideas.They believed that chain of events within amedia form cause effects on a relationshipoccurring in time and space and the narrativeshapes this material in terms of time space suchas; where and when things take place. This canbe portrayed through using effects to show thetime and space by using flash backs, forwardingtime, slow motion and speeding up.CAUSE AND EFFECT
Claude Levi- Strauss looked at narrative structure in termsof " Binary oppositions" focusing on the different sets ofopposite values which reveal the structure of the mediatexts. His narrative theory is different compared to othertheorists as he focused more on the arrangement of themesrather than the order of a media text.
Examples of these binaryoppositions could be :Earth – spaceGood – badPast- PresentNormal- abnormalHumans- AliensKnown- UnknownDead- AliveHappy- sadWeak- strong
Todorov was a Bulgarian linguist who producedand published influential narrative theory workfrom the 1960’s onwards. His theory suggestedthat stories begin with an equilibrium where anyopposing force are in balance. This equilibriumis then disrupted by an event which leads to aseries of other events leading to thestereotypical end of all major events beingrestored.
Visual showing of Todorov’s narrative theory found on Googleimages.