Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Narrative Theory 

Roland Barthes narrative theory claims that a narrative can be broken down into five codes or sets of rules. 

  • Action code: Applies to any action that implies a further narrative action.
  • Cultural code: An element in the narrative that is dependent on peoples knowledge of how the world works.
  • Enigma code: Refers to any element in a story that is not explained and therefore exists as an enigma
  • Semantic code: An element in a text that suggests an additional meaning by connotations.
  • Symbolic code: Similar to semantic codes, but cover a wider level where new meanings arise.

Narrative Theory

Propp’s narrative theory was based on folk tales and legends that he studied from different countries, he found that they were all quite similar and that they seemed to be about the same basic problems and the same types of character kept cropping up. He focused on the way there seemed to be different ‘types’ of characters rather than individuals. He recognised 8 character types. Propp’s 8 character types:

  • Hero who is on the quest. To restore the state of equilibrium to the narrative of the story.
  • Villain who opposes the hero, usually creates the narrative disruption. 
  • Donor helps the hero by giving him a tool. It may be object, information or advice. 
  • Dispatcher who sends the hero on his way, aids the hero in his quest.
  • False hero tries to tempt the hero away from his quest. 
  • Helper who helps the hero
  • Princess who is the reward for the hero. (the victim) is usually the character most threatened by the villain and has to be saved.
  • Father who rewards the hero for his efforts 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Narrative Theory 

Levi Strauss argued that all narratives could be reduced down to binary opposites. Binary opposition (also binary system) is a pair of related terms or concepts that are opposite in meaning.

  • Americans Vs Native Americans 
  • Good Vs Evil
  • Science Vs Religion 
  • Weak Vs Strong 
  • East Vs West
  • Man Vs Women 
After studying Hundreds of Myths from around the world, and observed that we make sense of the world, using binary opposites.
He observed that all narratives are organised around the conflict between such binary opposites.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Narrative Theory Steps

Todorov's narrative theory states that most story's or plot lines follow the same pattern or path.
There are 5 steps in this pattern:
1. The first part of the story will display a happy start, where the characters are content and everything is as it should.
2. The second part of the story will feature a problem or something will disrupt the happiness.
3. This part of the plot is when everyone realises the problem and the chaos it has caused.
4. This part is when the characters attempt to repair the damage and restore the problem.
5. In this final part of the plot where the problem is resolved and normality can resume again.