Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Narrative theories

Tzvetan todorov- equilibruim

All stories start in a state of equilibruim, which is then disrupted, setting in a motion of chain events. The resolution of the story is the creation of a new/different equilibruim.

Equilibruim>Disruption>Resolution/ Re-equilibruim

This narrative structure can be found in most Hollywood films.

Vladimir Prop

  • Propp was essentially interested in the narrative of folk tales. He identified a theory about folk tales being similar in many areas.

  • They were about the same basic struggles and they appeared to have "stock characters".

  • He identified a theory about characters and actions as narrative functions; they provide structure for the texts.

  • The Hero- a character that seeks something

  • The Villian- who opposes or actively blocks the hero's quest

  • The Donor- Who provides an object with majical properties

  • The Dispatcher- who sends the hero on his/her quest via a message

  • The false hero- who disrupts the hero's success by making false claim

  • The Helper- who aids the hero.

  • The Princess- acts as the reward for the hero and the object of the villains plot

  • Her father- who acts to reward the hero for his effort

These characters appear in many mainstream Hollywood films.

Claude Levi -strauss: Binary Oppositions

Meanings, include narrative, depend on binary oppositions - he explores these in terms of underlying typical themes rather than events. Conflict helps to drive the narrative.

Man vs Woman, Young vs Old, hero vs villian, West vs East, Good vs Bad.

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