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The narrative theory Narrative theory studies the devices and conventions governing the organisation of a story (fictional

or factual) into a sequence. TZVETAN TODOROV (Bulgarian structuralist linguist publishing influentialwork on narrative from the 1960s onwards) Todorov suggested that stories begin with an equilibriumwhere any potentially opposing forces are in balance. This is disrupted by some event and then later on, it is resolved and with the resolution at the end of the narrative a new equilibrium is usually established.There are five stages a narrative has to pass through: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The state of equilibrium An event disrupts the equilibrium ( e.g. a character or an action ) The main protagonist recognises that the equilibrium has been disrupted The protagonist attempts to rectify this in order to restore equilibrium Equilibrium is restored but because transformations have occurred, there are differences (good, bad, neutral) from original equilibrium, which establishes as a new equilibrium

VLADIMIR PROPP (A Russian critic who examined 100s of examples of folktales to see if they shared. any structures. His book on this 'Morphology of theFolk Tale' was first published in 1928) Propp looked at 100s of folk tales and identified 8 character roles and 31 narrative functions. The 8 character roles are: 1. The villain(s) 2. The hero 3.The donor - who provides an object with some magic property. 4. The helper who aids the hero. 5. The princess (the sought for person) - reward for the hero and object of the villain's schemes. 6. Her father - who rewards the hero. 7. The dispatcher - who sends the hero on his way. 8. The false hero The character roles and the functions identified by Propp can be applied to all kinds of narrative. In TV news programmes we are often presented with 'heroes' and villains'. Just think of the media portrayal of Saddam Hussein or Princess Diana.

Claude Levi-Strauss looked at narrative structure in termsof binary oppositions. Binary oppositions are sets of opposite values which reveal the structure of media texts. An example would be good and evil we understand the concept of good as being the opposite of evil. Levi Strauss was not so interested in looking at the order in which events were arranged in the plot. He looked instead for deeper arrangements of themes. For example, if we look at Science Fiction films we can identify a series of binary oppositions which are created by the narrative: for example earth, space, good, evil, humans, aliens etc Roland Barthes a French semiologist who suggested that narrative works with five different codes which activate the reader to make sense of it. He also used terms denotation and connotation to analyse images. Roland Barthes meant was that the text is like a tangled ball that needs to be unravelled. Once it is unravelled we encounter and absolute wide range of potential meanings. We can start by looking at a narrative in one way, from one point of view, one set of previous experience, and create one meaning for that text. You can continue by unravelling the narrative from a different angle and create an entirely different meaning. Roland Barthes codes were: 1. The hermeneutic code This code refers to elements of the story that are not explained. Enigmas within the narrative want to make the audience know more. 2. The proairetic code This code relates to the narrative suggesting that there is further narrative. 3. The semantic code This code deals with parts within the text that suggest or refer to additional meanings.This code is implement throughthe connotations that things have. 4. The symbolic code This code is about symbolism within the text 5. The cultural code This code refers to things in the current cultural or intellectual domain.