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# Narrative theory[2]

Published on: Mar 3, 2016

#### Transcripts - Narrative theory[2]

• 1. Recap- narrative  Write down one question you would ask someone else in the class about narrative.
• 2. Narrative Theory
• 3. Learning Objectives  To gain understanding of how to apply narrative theory to different media texts.
• 4. Todorov’s Equlibrium Theory • Todorov’s theory is based on all narratives having a 3 act structure. • Equilibrium • Disruption of equilibrium • An attempt at a resolution. • Of course, modern narratives often play with this idea. Not all narratives would necessarily begin with an equilibrium. • Tasks: • Watch this trailer: how could apply Todorov it? Does it conform to 3 act structure? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRY3L5DjeK0 • Think about the narrative of your trailer. Can you apply Todorov to it?
• 5. Propp’s Spheres of Action Theory  Propp’s theory is based on the idea of 8 recurring characters, or ‘spheres of action’.  These characters ‘drive the narrative’ and form the basis of most narrative plots.  Hero: Individual(s) who's quest is to restore the equilibrium.  Villain: Individual(s) who's task is to disrupt the equilibrium.  Donor: Individual(s) who gives the hero(s) something, advice, information or an object.  Helper: Individual(s) who aids the hero(s) with their set task.  Princess (Prince): Individual(s) which need help, protecting and saving.  The King: Who rewards the hero.  Dispatcher: Individual(s) who send the hero(s) on their quest.  False Hero: Individual(s) who set out to undermine the hero's quest by pretending to aid them. Often unmasked at the end of the film.  Watch this trailer and apply Propp.
• 6. Levi-Strauss: Binary Oppositions Argued that meaning in narrative is based upon binary oppositions. He observed that all narratives are organised around the conflict between such binary opposites. E.g:  Good Vs Evil  Human Vs Nature  Protagonist Vs Antagonist  Humanity Vs Technology  Man Vs Woman  Human Vs Alien  Can you apply binary opposites theory to your trailer?
• 7. Roland Barthes: Enigma Code • Barthes’ theory refers to any element of the story that is not fully explained and hence becomes a mystery to the audience. • The audience then begins to ask a series of questions of the narrative? • What questions would ask of the trailers we have watched?
• 8. Varied facial expressions both give an indication of genre and could link to Propp’s characters theory as you can link to particular characteristics i.e. Hero or Villain. Casket indicates basis of narrative and links to Todorov. The disruption of the equilibrium, the act that cast members are sitting on the casket indicates that a number of disruptions will happen within the narrative.
• 9. Butterfly: gives an indication of change, growth, development, progression. Transformation > from the ‘ugly’ to the ‘beautiful’ caterpillar > butterfly. This straight away links to Todorov, as we get the indication of disequilibrium > new equilibrium. Her facial expression, links to Todorov again as we get an indication of ‘disequilibrium’ here. This also indicates the genre as either drama or social realist. Realism indicated through her expression of hardship. Costume: Which contrasts with the butterfly wings and crown which again links to the disequilibrium and the genre (drama, social realist). Crown > new equilibrium, change development royal, precious…
• 10. Eyes closed gives an indication of being unsure, apprehension linking to Roland Barthes Enigma code. Costume gives an indication of audiences preconceptions linking with the tattoos and ‘wife beater’ vest, which would indicate his actions as inevitable due to the moral panic of the genre. Which would then link to Todorov’s new equilibrium. Violence and guns are often associated with both rap/hip hop and black culture. This links to Barthes again as you are unaware if he will shoot. The use of red has connotations of danger, passion etc Also link with Propp in relation to characters and could be associated as villain…
• 11. What have we learned?  What is Propp’s theory?  How could we apply Propp to one of the media texts?  What is Todorov’s Theory?  How could we apply it to one of the film trailers?  What is Levi-Strauss’s Theory?  How would we apply this to one of the media texts?  What is Roland Barthes Theory?  How would we apply this to one of the media texts?  Task: Can you apply these theories to your work?