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Narrative theories revisited


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Narrative theories from AS - revised for A2.

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Narrative theories revisited

  1. 1. NARRATIVE THEORIES Aim: Revisit narrative theories from AS
  2. 2. WHICH NARRATIVE THEORIES CAN YOU REMEMBER FROM LAST YEAR? Ah…this will be the state of disequilibrium in Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’! The director’s use of binary opposites here really exemplifies the hero’s quest.
  3. 3. WHICH NARRATIVE THEORIES CAN YOU REMEMBER FROM LAST YEAR? - - Todorov? Barthes? Propp? Levi Strauss Binary Opposites?
  4. 4. BARTHES NARRATIVE CODES   Action code: The audience will recognise an action code in a media text as it is used to indicate what is the next logical step. It advances the narrative eg the buckling of a gun belt in a Western film signifies the start of a gun fight.       Look at the following…. What do you think they indicate? Packing of a suitcase? Starting of a car engine? Whistle of approaching train? Flashing lights?
  5. 5. BARTHES NARRATIVE CODES   Mystery Code or Enigma code: This code is used to explain the narrative by controlling what and how much information is given to the audience. It grabs the audience’s interest and attention by setting up an enigma or problem that is resolved during the course of the narrative. Eg, someone’s murderous hand in the opening sequence – who does it belong to?    The Semic Code Basically, this code is all about signs and meanings in a text that tell us about its narrative and characters. Eg, in a horror film, the supernatural would be signified by the fear of light/garlic, an increase in body hair etc.    The Cultural Code This code is used in order for the narrative to make sense to a culturally and socially aware audience. It makes reference to elements from the real world that the audience will recognise, eg Aston Martins and Martinis in James Bond films.    Code of Oppositions This code refers to a narrative that relies on binary opposites, eg, black v white, hot v cold, male v female, nature v civilisation, war v peace etc.
  7. 7. USING IT IN YOUR RESEARCH AND PLANNING?  How can you use these theories in your research and planning?