Narrative theory

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  • 1. NARRATIVEMedia StudiesMedia Studies

2. Narrative is a way of organising spatialand temporal data into a cause and effectchain of events with a beginning, middleand end that embodies a judgement aboutthe nature of the events as well asdemonstrates how it is possible to know,and hence to narrate, the events. Brannigan E. Narrative Comprehension and Film 3. Features of NarrativeStructure Aristotles beginning, middle and end. Todorovs equilibrium>disequilibrium>re-equilibrium Propps functions2. Temporal order, temporal duration,temporal frequency3. Story and Plot Explicitly presented actions/events Implicitly inferred actions/events Non diegetic material (captions/titles, drama enhancing musicetc.) 4. Other Features1. Constructional Devices Cinematography Mise- en- scene Editing Sound2. Genre AssociationsGenre Codes (e.g. Iconography)Genre Conventions3. Narrative CodesLevi Strauss Binary OppositionsCharacter PsychologySemiotic Analysis 5. Todorov Initial Situation (Equilibrium) Disruption (Non equilibrium) Restoration (Re Equilibrium)The Shining 6. Propp 1928 Based upon the Russian Folktale 1928 Types of Characters, Specific Forms ofAction, function in the Narrative. Thirty One Functions identified. 7. Specific research on narrative Vladimir Propp Russian Formalist in the 1930s He identified seven archetypalcharacters.. 8. Propps character archetypes The Villain The Donor/giver of knowledge The Helper The Princess (sought after person) The Dispatcher The Hero (or victim) The False Hero 9. Propps character archetypes The Villain Darth Vader The Donor Obi Won Kenobe The Helper Han Solo The Princess Princess Leah The Dispatcher R2 - D2 The Hero Luke Skywalker The False Hero Darth Vader (Lukes dad) 10. Definitions from Bordwell andThompson (1991) Plot: What we see on screen. Includes extra-narrative things. Story: all that we know about the narrativeincluding seen and unseen. Cause and effect: Cause and effect. Causescan come from a character. 11. Levi Strauss Binary Opposites Protagonist/Antagonist Action /Inaction Good looking / Ugly Witty / Humourless 12. Barthes Audience Decodes Enigma Code (sets up a question to be answeredlater) Action Code - understood by cross reference toother narratives in our culture Semic Code (How characters, actions ,events,settings etc. take on meaning within a culture. Symbolic Code - Binary Oppositions orPsychological symbols Cultural Codes - understood through our interactionwith the wider world.