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Narrative Theory OCR A2 G325

Narrative Theory OCR A2 G325

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Published by MrSmithLC
Adapted from various websites. Includes basics on Propp, Bordwell, Todorov, Barthes.

Suitable for preparation for OCR A2 G325 Question 1b revision.

I do not own the copyright for the 'Mighty Boosh' image.
Adapted from various websites. Includes basics on Propp, Bordwell, Todorov, Barthes.

Suitable for preparation for OCR A2 G325 Question 1b revision.

I do not own the copyright for the 'Mighty Boosh' image.

More info:

Published by: MrSmithLC on Feb 07, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Mr Smith Narrative Question 1b
A Journey ThroughTime And Space
Mr Smith Narrative Question 1b
Mr Smith Narrative Question 1b
In the beginning...
It’s important to realise that there is a distinction between a ‘story’ and a ‘narrative’. A
"Storyis the irreducible substance of a story (A meets B, something happens, order returns), whilenarrative is the way the story is related (Once upon a time there was a princess...)" (KeyConcepts in Communication - Fiske et al (1983))
We tend to associate narrative with ‘books’, yet all texts have a narrative. What must be
noted however is that these narratives are constructed differently; the most obvious
difference is simply in the way we are told the story. Thus a book has a ‘storyteller’, be it a
character in the novel or a narrator (the author?) who not only tells us of what is going on butwho can also tell us why certain things happen. The reader very quickly adapts to andunderstands the way the story is told, and soon gets involved with the story and thecharacters within it. This process is an acceptable part of the nature of reading
we settleinto a book. The first few chapters are frequently just setting the scene. We re-read sectionswe do not quite understand at first. We might even discuss the opening with someone whohas already read the book.Naturally we cannot do these things in the cinema
if we attempted to the audience wouldsoon call for the manager. Thus the opening section of a film takes on considerablesignificance:
it must stimulate our curiosity, it must present us with characters we are interested, in it must start off a recognisable narrative.
It may seem obvious but the ‘
’ of your media text is not ‘
a meaning ormoral/message is far easier to deter
mine from a media text than ‘
real life 
’. What the exammay ask you to do is evaluate ‘the way
narrative is related’ to an audience. This will
require you to identify and evaluate the various
narrative codes
which are employed in your
’.When ‘reading’
a media text we have expectations of form, a foreknowledge of how that textwill be constructed. Media texts can also be fictional constructs, with elements of predictionand fulfilment which are not present in reality. The basic elements of a narrative, accordingto Aristotle:"...the most important is the plot, the
of the incidents; for tragedy is arepresentation, not of men, but of
and life" (
Aristotle (Penguin Edition) p39-40 4th century BC )Successful stories require actions which change the lives of the characters in the story.Traditionally they also contain some sort of resolution, where that change is registered, andwhich creates a new equilibrium for the characters involved. Remember that narratives arenot just those we encounter in fiction. Even news stories, advertisements and documentariesalso have a constructed narrative which must be interpreted.
Task 1
On the pages
overleaf, create a timeline of your ‘narrative’; you will need to refer back to this
constantly so make it large and neat. Try and structure it traditionally (beginning, middle,end)
making sure to include all major ‘
You may find it useful to us
e ‘screen grabs’
of your text

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