Lz411 narrative analysis 2013

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Structural Narrative Analysis

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Lz411 narrative analysis 2013

  1. 1. LZ411 – Critical Media theory Structural narrative analysis Aims … •To explore what we mean by structural narrative analysis •To look at different approaches to structural narrative analysis •To apply these approaches to TV advert
  2. 2. An example Google Ad – ‘Reunion’ – over 9 million hits on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHGDN9oFJE
  3. 3. Plot, story and narrative • Plot – the sequencing of events that a text contains • Story – the logical/chronological/causal sequence that we imagine to have happened • Narrative – an organising or explaining principle underlying (some) stories. E.g. indicating morals, identity questions, 3
  4. 4. Narrative: The ingredients Characte rs Events Time & Space (setting) Characte rs Causality
  5. 5. Narrative: The resolution of disruption Tension and conflict Beginning Middle End Aristotle’s Poetics 335 BCE Initial situation (equilibrium) Disruption Realisation of disruption Resolution (new equilibrium) Todorov’s transformations (1971) 5
  6. 6. Our example again Google Ad – ‘Reunion’ – over 9 million hits on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHGDN9oFJE
  7. 7. Narrative: Driven by opposites Abstract concepts E.g. Good/bad, evil/love, mortal/immorta l, nature/culture etc. metaphorical transformation Concrete representations Drive the elements 7
  8. 8. Drive the Elements Ad
  9. 9. Vladimir Propp – Narrative Functions • Analyse characters in narratives – not for their individual psychologies but for their function in the narrative (i.e. what they do to advance the narrative) • Propp identified 31 ‘narrative functions’ – Not all are necessarily present in every narrative but those that appear are always in the same order. 9
  10. 10. Propp’s ‘spheres of action’ Character type The villain The donor Function villainy, fighting, action, creates narrative complication gives magical agent or helper which helps in resolution of the narrative The helper Aids the hero, makes good a lack, rescues from pursuit, solves difficult tasks, transforms the hero The princess Father threatened by villain, needs to be saved, assigns difficult tasks, gives princess away at the end The dispatcher sends the hero on his task (can also be the father) aims to resolve complication, departs on search, reacts to the donor, attempts difficult tasks, restores equilibrium, ‘marries the princess’ The hero The false hero Unfounded claims to hero’s sphere of action. i.e. Appears to be good but turns out bad
  11. 11. Peugeot Ad
  12. 12. The hero’s journey (the monomyth) Joseph Campbell’s ‘Monomyth’ from ‘Hero with a thousand faces’ (1949)
  13. 13. Analysis - Chanel Ad Plot and story? Pleasure? Characters and action? Journey?
  14. 14. Barthes’ (1970) Structural Narrative Analysis An examination of texts for how they weave together these 5 different ‘codes of meaning’. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The enigma code The connotative code The action code The symbolic code The cultural (referential) code
  15. 15. Boots TV Advert 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51Yfr8ZK FXE
  16. 16. SEMINAR / READING Edgar-Hunt, R., Marland, J. and Rawle, S. (2010) The language of film. Lausanne: AVA books. (NARRATIVE CHAPTER) Search for a TV advert with a narrative structure. (make sure it’s available for us to watch in the seminar) Do an analysis of the advert using one or more of the structural approaches we’ve covered in this lecture or in the reading. 16

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