Media Theories - Narrative

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  • Created by: SBowles1
  • Created on: 03-06-16 10:53

Todorov - Equilibrium and Disequilibrium

All narratives follow a common structure (applied to A2 short film)

  • State of equilibrium (equilibrium is implied rather than shown: peaceful before phone call)
  • Disruption of equilibrium by event (threatening phone call)
  • Realisation of disruption (Protagonist realises they are not alone in the house)
  • Attempt to repair damage of disruption (conflict between protagonist and antagonist)
  • New equilibrium (no conclusive ending)
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Barthes - 5 Narrative Codes

The meaning of a text is created through narrative codes (applied to A2 short film)

  • Action Code: Adds suspence (conflict between protagonist and antagonist)
  • Referential Code: Audiences external knowledge to know meaning (threatening voice on phone / dark setting / man in mask / protagonist has a bat)
  • Symbolic Codes: Symbolism within the text to add additonal meaning (no symbolism in text)
  • Enigma Code: Mystery within the text (the ending is inconclusive - not sure as to whether the antagonist is dead or not / will the protagonist be arrested / was this a set up)
  • Semantic Code: Refers to parts in the text which add additional meaning (protagonist wears grey to symbolise how he is inbetween good and evil)
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Propp - 7 Character Theory

Propp said that there were typically 7 different types of character (applied to A2 short film)

  • The Hero: the main protagonist 
  • The Villan: the antagonist (voice on the phone / assassin) 
  • The Donor: Provides something to help protagonist (no donor)
  • The Dispatcher: Sends protagonist on journey (voice on the phone)
  • The False Hero: Makes false claims, disrupting hero's success (no false hero)
  • The Helper: Helps hero on journey (no helper)
  • The Princess: The one that is to be saved (no princess)
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Levi-Strauss - Binary Opposites

The idea that a narrative develops from two contrasting elements

  • Innocent / Guilty
  • Good / Bad
  • Protagonist / Antagonist
  • Democract / Dictatorship
  • Civilised / Savage
  • Strong / Weak
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