Assignment 8 : Narrative Theory


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  • 1. Assignment 8: Narrative TheoryBy: Marisha Inoke

2. PART A : TODOROV 3. Todorov Tzvetan Todorov (born March 1, 1939) is a Franco-Bulgarian philosopher. He has lived in France since 1963 and now lives there with his wife Nancy Huston and their two children, writing books and essays about literary theory, thought history and culture theory. 4. Todorovs narrative theory Todorov suggested that stories begin with anequilibrium (or normality). This is disrupted by an event which causes adisequilibrium which then causes other chainof events to occur. In the end the problem is solved andeverything is restored back to its equilibrium. 5. Todorov suggested that there are 5 stages of narrative (with 3 major parts).THIS ARE THE FIVE STAGES: Equilibrium (or normality). Disequilibrium (conflict/disruption ofequilibrium by action or event). Recognition of Disequilibrium(disruption/conflict). Attempt to repair.- NEW equilibrium. 6. Equilibrium NEW Disequilibriumequilibrium Todorovsnarrative theory Attempt toRecognitions of repairDisequilibrium 7. These five stages are familiar to the audience as itis mainly used in mainstream films. An example of a film with these five stages is Harold & Kumar escape from Guantanamo bay. 8. Equilibrium (or normality) In the beginning of the film everything is at equilibrium and its just introducing the two characters (which are best- friends). 9. Disequilibrium Then we have the dis- equilibrium/disruption caused by an event that happened on the airplane where the gests misunderstood for using a bomb instead of a bong which he brought onto his flight. They both get imprisoned on suspicions of terrorism. Then soon after they escape from Guantanamo bay and try to outrun the authorities. Throughout the film they experience one situation after another. 10. Recognition of disequilibrium Harold & Kumarrecognises the dis-equilibrium and thattheir both in aserious situation. 11. Attempt to repair disequilibriumThey both in the endget caught and takeninto interrogationwhere they are foundto be completelyinnocent. 12. Equilibrium is restored (NEW equilibrium) In the end they are free from imprisonment. Kumar ends up with the grooms fianc (his ex-lover) and flies to Amsterdam so that Harold can meet the girl he had previously met in the elevator. The ending scene is at a new equilibrium and everything is back to normal as it is a happy ending for both characters. 13. TODOROV TASK 1 14. PART B: LEVI STRAUSS 15. LEVI STRAUSS He believed that our world is described inBINARY OPPOSITES. When we look at themes within stories theyconsists of differences, contradictions andconflict or opposites.BINARY OPPOSITESNight dayold YoungGoodBadBoy GirlMalefemale 16. Cont. Suggests that we are only able to understandgood when evil is present. An example ofthis is mainly in super-hero films where youhave a binary opposites like the Hero and theVillain. Furthermore he believes that oppositionoffers structure to a text. 17. Problem The problem with Strauss theory is that it createsa dominant ideology for a Hero and a villainwhich is incorporated in to the text. It can create the dangerous norms like the Herois represented as a white, male, handsome,muscular and a good citizen. Whereas you have the ethnic minoritiesrepresented in a negative stereotype like causinga felony, breaking laws or being a bad citizen. 18. DRAMA ACTIONLEVI STRAUSS TASK 1HORROR SCI-FI THRILLERGenre: ActionFilm: Opposite 1 Opposite 2ExplanationSpiderman (2002).(Spiderman is seen as a hero as he saves thehelpless girl). Costume presents the character as aSpiderman is presented as a Hero asbinary opposite to Spiderman. It is conventional to see the binaryhe saves the girl as Heros usually do opposites in Action (Super-hero) filmsin mainstream films, especially in as there has to be a hero and a villain.super-hero films as it is incorporatedin them. Furthermore, he is presentedSometimes it can be between theas a kind hearted individual whenhero and his sidekick.being The hero is portrayed as an unselfish character as opposed to the villain as he is selfish and just wants POWER for selfishness reasons. 19. cont.GENRE: ACTION Film: Opposite 1Opposite 2Explanation: The binary The Transporter opposites within an action film explicitly shows who is the hero and the villain. The transporter is sympathetic He is a hero as he protects the Portrayed as a villain as he is to the female girl from the villain. It is made dressed in dark clothing and clear which side he is on facial expression suggests that character. during the film as there is he is unwelcoming. binary opposites. 20. Cont.GENRE: HORRORFilm:Opposition 1 Opposition 2Explanation:Friday the13thFranchiseThe villain is portrayed ashe kills innocent victims orpreys on the vulnerable.The general conventions ofa villain in the horror genreis commonly disfigured,deranged psychopath. 21. PART C : BARTHES 22. ROLAND BARTHES Similar to Todorovs theory, the audiences experience of narrative involves anticipation and expectation of resolution to disruption/conflict. 23. Barthes Codes: Enigma code Action code Semantic code Symbolic code Cultural code 24. Barthes - Enigma Narrative is set up as a puzzle. Enigma = mystery/puzzle 25. Enigma code example An example of an enigma is a trailer for a film.Example: The trailer of Slumdog millionaire the beginning of the trailer it poses a questionfor the audience. The enigma is that will he find his true love. 26. Barthes - Action Code Codes of behaviour and actions that leadaudience us to expect certain consequences. Based on other stories/films and theirconvention. 27. Action code examplesThriller/Mystery Slasher/HorrorRomanceAction:Action: Action: A)A)A)B) B) B)Assumption:Assumption: Assumption:a) The male character is going to geta) The female character is going to get a) Body language and facial bitten by that snake.hooked on to that hook, which kills expression suggests that they are inb) The male character is going to shoot as it is in his intension as he b) Shes going to get killed. b) Facial expression and gazing into holds in his hand a weapon.each others eyes implying that theyare going to kiss. 28. Barthes Semantic code Connotative (imply or suggest) meanings ofcharacters, objects and locations. 29. Colour = BlackPredator Black SwanSpiderman 4CreatesThe colour black suggests Black can suggest evil beingenigma/mystery/bold/maje modern, seductive, evil, present or taking over.stic.majestic and bold. The reflection scene in Spiderman 4 is relevant as it connotes a change in character, old vs. new. 30. The hero is a handsome malewho is muscular. He is alsoseen as a kind heartedcharacter.Furthermore, The Hero isalways stronger and morepowerful than the Villain.The villain is the oppositionto the Hero and sometimesthe same gender. The villainis portrayed as a selfishgreedy unattractive character.Unattractive, selfish,weak and powerless. 31. Cont. The villain is portrayed asthe character who is muchmore powerful and strong asopposed to the villain. The colour black isassociated with mysteriousand dark as Batman is amysterious individual. He also leads a verysecretive life as he lives twoseparate lives. 32. Iconography (sci-fi) Iconographic features have clear connotations and meanings to the audience. Sci-fi = Aliens, Spaceship, Hi-tech futuristic gadgets used in the film. Furthermore, the colour black suggests Modern.Alien or unknownspecies.A gadget used. 33. Barthes Symbolic code Symbolic features often signify oppositions and anti-theses Examples of symbolic code within a film like The Mona Lisa smiles as it is set in a time where femaleswhere it was uncommon for a female to stay in education and pursue a career. It made it explicit that the men where privileged enough to go onto further education as opposed tofemales. Females where subjected to doing house cleaning, cooking and taking care of their husbands and family. 34. Symbolic code examples from Mona Lisasmiles. (females)Cook book for stay at home housewifes that are expected to cook fortheir family.This is a traditional view of women from a period of time.Apron suggests that shes a house-wife.Facial expressionsuggests that they areboth happy.Portray a happy stay Female professor is not a stay-at home housewife and at home house wife does not believe that women should be limited. and husband who isthe breadwinner. Strongly believes in education and that it can help women become independent, self-reliance and a dominant character. Women from a certain time period are subjected to being a stay at home housewife who cleans, cook and is submissive to their husband. 35. Symbolic code examples Mona Lisa smiles (males)The males are successful as they are privilegedto go to university and get a degree, as it isacceptable.Portrayed as quiet successful and well presented. 36. Barthes Cultural codeIn the modern adaption A male dressing up as a woman Costume were not to represent theof Romeo & Juliet they (Drag queen) was not originally historical period of time that it wasuse guns as weaponsfeatured in Romeo & Juliet. initially set in.instead of swords. Costume makes it explicit that this is a modern version.Initially the men usedswords to fight theirPool is a more modernenemy. adaption to the scene when Romeo & Juliet meet in the garden. 37. Barthes Cultural code Another example of cultural code is Slumdog millionaire. 38. PART D : PROPP 39. Vladimir Propp Studied folklore and fairy tales. He formed 2 theories, the first one is the 7 distinctive character types called the spheres of action. The 7 spheres of action are mainly based on historic fairy tales as they include the hero, villain, dispatcher, donor, helper, heroine and false hero. 40. Propp 7 spheres of Action1) Hero2) Villain3) Dispatcher4) Donor5) Helpe