Narrative Theories

VLADMIR PROPP

Russian Critic and literary theorist.

He thins that it’s possible to classify the characters and their actions into clearly defined roles and functions.

Films such as Star Wars fit his model perfectly but a significant number of other films, such as Pulp Fiction, do not. The model is useful as it highlights the similarities between seemingly different stories.

 

PROPP’S CHARACTER ROLES

HERO: SEEKS SOMETHING

VILLAIN: OPPOSES HERO

DONOR: HELPS HERO BY PROVIDING OBJECT

DISPATCHER: SENDS HERO ON THEIR WAY

HELPER: SUPPORTS HERO

PRINCESS: REWARD FOR THE HERO, NEEDS PROTECTION FROM THE VILLAIN

 

 

TZVETAN TODOROV

EQUILIBRIUM —- DISEQUILIBRIUM —- NEW EQUILIBRIUM

 

ROLAND BARTHES

ACTION: Narrative device in which a resolution is found through action.                       Like a fight.

ENIGMA: Narrative device that teases audience with a puzzle to find the                        resolution.

SYMBOLIC: (Connotation)

SEMIC: (Denotation)

CULTURAL: Narrative device that the audience can recognise as a culture.

 

CLAUDE LEVI-STRAUSS

BINARY OPPOSITIONS

HOMESTEADERS     –     NATIVES

CHRISTIANS     –     PAGANS

DOMESTIC     –     SAVAGE

WEAK     –     STRONG

 

 

 

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