Slide1 l.jpg
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 29

Theories of Narrative PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 88 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Theories of Narrative. Vladimir PROPP (1895-1970). The Morphology of the Fairy Tale, 1928. Propp examined hundreds of fairy tales in the generic form ‘the folk wondertale’. He identified: 8 character roles (or ‘spheres of action’)

Download Presentation

Theories of Narrative

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Slide1 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Vladimir PROPP (1895-1970)

The Morphology of the Fairy Tale, 1928

Propp examined hundreds of fairy tales in the generic form ‘the folk wondertale’.

  • He identified:

  • 8 character roles (or ‘spheres of action’)

  • 31 functions which move the story along - examples include the punishment of the villain (usually at the end of the story); the ban of an action (eg. If Sleeping Beauty touches a spinning wheel, she will die)


Slide2 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Vladimir PROPP (1895-1970)

The Morphology of the Fairy Tale, 1928

Propp’s 8 character roles or ‘spheres of action’

  • The villain

  • The hero - a seeker character motivated by an initial lack

  • The donor, who provides an object with some magic property

  • The helper, who aids the hero

  • The princess, a reward for the hero and object of the

  • villain’s schemes

  • Her father, who validates the hero

  • The dispatcher, who sends the hero on his way

  • The false hero

adapted from (Branston and Stafford, 1996)


Slide3 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Vladimir PROPP (1895-1970)

The Morphology of the Fairy Tale, 1928

Propp’s theory is a form of structuralism, which is a view that all media is inevitably in the form of certain fixed structures.

These structures are often culturally derived and form expectations in the mind of an audience from within that same culture eg fairy tales always have happy endings or the princess always marries the handsome prince.


Slide4 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Vladimir PROPP (1895-1970)

The Morphology of the Fairy Tale, 1928

Propp’s theory can be applied to generic structures in Western culture, such as popular film genres.

Thus genre structures form expectations in the mind of an audience that certain rules apply to the narrative. However, cultural change can force structures to change eg a hero can now be a woman


Slide5 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Vladimir PROPP (1895-1970)

The Morphology of the Fairy Tale, 1928

Attempt to identify as many of Propp’s 8 ‘spheres of action’ from the films we have studied as you can -

  • The villain

  • The hero - a seeker character motivated by an initial lack

  • The donor, who provides an object with some magic

  • property

  • The helper, who aids the hero

  • The princess, a reward for the hero and object of the

  • villain’s schemes

  • Her father, who validates the hero

  • The dispatcher, who sends the hero on

  • his way

  • The false hero


Slide6 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Tzvetan TODOROV

Bulgarian structuralist 1960s

Todorov developed the theory of

disrupted equilibrium

  • He identified that stories follow a typical pattern of:

  • Equilbrium

  • Disequilibrium

  • Equilibrium

  • This applies equally well to film texts


Slide7 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Tzvetan TODOROV

Bulgarian structuralist 1960s

Equilbrium - the ‘status quo’ where things are as they should be

Disequilibrium - the status quo is disrupted by an event

Equilibrium - is restored at the end of the story by the actions of the hero


Slide8 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Tzvetan TODOROV

Bulgarian structuralist 1960s

What is the equilbrium at the beginning of a crime genre or horror genre film?

What sort of event disrupts the equilibrium to cause disequilibrium in a crime or horror film? (Give two examples of actual events from films we have studied)

How and when is equilibrium restored in

a) a crime film?

b) a horror film?


Slide9 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Tzvetan TODOROV

Bulgarian structuralist 1960s

There can be several moments in the plot where resolution of equilibrium takes place, for example when pieces of the detective’s puzzle fall into place.

An example from The Black Dahlia is where Bucky Bleikert fits the puzzling words of the pathologist to precise attributes of the ‘Stag- film’ set - the injury caused by the crown, the river to wash away the blood.


Slide10 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Tzvetan TODOROV

Bulgarian structuralist 1960s

Todorov later developed this into a 5 stage pattern:

a state of equilibrium at the outset.

a disruption of the equilibrium by some action.

a recognition that there has been a disruption.

an attempt to repair the disruption.

a reinstatement of the of the equilibrium.


Slide11 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Roland BARTHES

French theorist

Barthes believes the there are 5 action codes that enable an audience to make sense of a narrative.

  • hermeneutic (narrative turning-points)

  • we know where the story will go next

  • proairetic (basic narrative actions)

  • eg detective interviews suspect or femme fatale seduces hero (see Propp’s 31 functions)

  • cultural (prior social knowledge)

  • eg our attitudes to gender or racial stereotypes

  • semic (medium-related codes)

  • intertextuality

  • symbolic (themes)

  • iconography or a theme such as ‘image versus reality’ (Curtis Hanson)


Slide12 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Claude LEVI-STRAUSS

French structuralist, 1970s

Claude Levi-Strauss is most noted for his theory of Binary Oppositions.

In order to find those oppositions, Levi-Strauss was less interested in

syntagmatic relations i.e.how events line up in the narrative structure to develop the plot,

than paradigmatic relations i.e. those events and features that belong to the theme of the piece, especially within genre based texts.


Slide13 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Claude LEVI-STRAUSS

French structuralist

Levi-Strauss used the ‘Western’ film genre to develop his theory of Binary Oppositions.

HomesteadersNative Americans

ChristianPagan

DomseticSavage

WeakStrong

GardenWilderness

Inside societyOutside society


Slide14 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Claude LEVI-STRAUSS

French structuralist

What binary oppositions can you think of from the crime or horror genres?


Slide15 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Claude LEVI-STRAUSS

French structuralist

Levi-Strauss used the ‘Western’ film genre to develop his theory of Binary Oppositions.

detectivevillain

princessfemme fatale?

criminal‘straight’

weakstrong

safe streets‘mean streets’

sanemad

poor ?rich


Slide16 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

DIEGESIS

The theory of diegesis applies to narrative events, just as it did to sounds.

Diegetic narrative events take place before the audience, within the field of vision.

Non-diegetic narrative events take place off-screen - before the movie started, between scenes, simultaneously but in another room.

Diegesis is the Greek for the ‘narrative world’

However, to understand this term, we need

to know the difference between the

plot, the story and screen time.


Slide17 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Victor SHKLOVSKY

Russian theorist 1920s

Shklovsky attempted to distinguish between the plot, which he defined as the events we actually ‘see’ in the narrative; and the story, which contains all the information or events affecting the characters both on and off screen.


Slide18 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Victor SHKLOVSKY

Russian theorist 1920s

He gave them typically difficult names:

fabula = the story i.e. the whole world of the story before during and after what we see or hear

syuzhet = only the events that we see or hear within the field of vision


Slide19 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

David BORDWELL and KristinTHOMPSON

American Film Studies theorists 1990s

In their book ‘Film Art (1997), Bordwell and Thompson give three different time zones for film narratives:

story ‘the set of all the events in the narrative, both the ones explicitly presented and those the viewer infers, compose the story’

plot ‘the term plot is used to describe everything visibly and audibly present in the film before us’.

screen time ‘the time taken to broadcast the film’

Diegesis is therefore the Greek for the ‘narrativeworld’ of the plot during the screen time.


Slide20 l.jpg

Theories of Narrative

Gill BRANSTON and Roy STAFFORD

British Media writers 1990s

Branston and Stafford happen to very usefully apply the relevance of fabula/syuzhet theory to the crime genre:

We should feel at the end of a good detective story or thriller that we have been pleasurably puzzled, so that the ‘solution’, our piecing together of the story in its proper order out of the evidence offered by the plot, will come as a pleasure. We should not feel that the plot has cheated; that parts of the story have

suddenly been revealed which we couldn’t

possibly have guessed at. The butler

cannot, at the last minute, suddenly be

revealed to have been a poisons expert.


Slide21 l.jpg

Theories of Genre

Advanced intertextuality

Intertextuality is a key component in understanding how genre texts succeed by being at once both

Similar

and

Different


Slide22 l.jpg

Theories of Genre

John FISKE

American Professor of Communication Arts, 2000s

Fiske develops Barthes’ semic code:

A representation of a car chase only makes sense in relation to all the others we have seen - after all, we are unlikely to have experienced one in reality, and if we did, we would, according to this model, make sense of it by turning it into another text, which we would also understand intertextually, in terms of what we have seen so often on our screens. There is then a cultural knowledge of the concept 'car chase' that any one text is a prospectus for, and that is used by the

viewer to decode it, and by the producer

to encode it. (Fiske 1987, 115)


Slide23 l.jpg

Theories of Genre

Roland BARTHES

French semiotic theorist

A scene from the Hollywood film ‘The Day After Tomorrow’


Slide24 l.jpg

Theories of Genre

Roland BARTHES

French semiotic theorist

A ‘real’ image of people fleeing the dust cloud in the aftermath of ‘9/11’


Slide25 l.jpg

Theories of Genre

Jacques DERRIDA

French philosopher

Jacques Derrida proposed that

'a text cannot belong to no genre, it cannot be without... a genre. Every text participates in one or several genres, there is no genreless text'

(Derrida 1981, 61).


Slide26 l.jpg

Theories of Genre

Jacques DERRIDA

French philosopher

Derrida’s point helps to explain why commentators on September 11th could only understand what they were seeing as ‘like a movie’. This is perhaps what Fiske means by saying ‘we make sense of it by turning it into another text.’

Compare this to what Fiske says about never having experienced a car chase. If we encounter a real-life genre experience the decoding system in our brains becomes confused.


Slide27 l.jpg

Theories of Genre

Claude LEVI-STRAUSS

French structuralist, 1970s

Levi-Strauss developed the concept of bricolage

Levi-Strauss saw any text as constructed out of socially recognisable ‘debris’ from other texts.

He saw that writers construct texts from other texts by a process of:

Addition

Deletion

Substitution

Transposition


Slide28 l.jpg

Theories of Genre

Gerard GENETTE

French structuralist, 1990s

Genette developed the term transtextuality and developed five sub-groups, but only 4 apply to film:

  • intertextualityquotation, plagiarism, allusion

  • architextualitydesignation of the text as part of a genre by the writer or by the audience

  • metatextualityexplicit or implicit critical commentary of one text on another text

  • hypotextualitythe relation between a text and a preceeding hypotext - a text or genre on which

  • it is based but which it transforms, modifies,

  • elaborates or extends (including parody,

  • spoof, sequel, translation)

Which of our viewed films give examples

of each type?


Slide29 l.jpg

http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/intgenre/intgenre1.html


  • Login