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Narrative Structure and Theory

Narrative – the way that the different elements in a
story are organised to make a meaningful story. This is
normally in chronological order.

Todorov’s Narrative Theory…
Tzvetan Todorov's narrative theory suggests that all
narratives follow a three-part structure where they begin
with equilibrium, where everything is balanced, progress
as something comes along to disrupt that equilibrium,
and finally reach a resolution, when equilibrium is
restored.

EQUILIBRIUM – Creates the atmosphere of the scene.
Everything is natural and balanced. The moods are peaceful, happy, and
ordinary with no problems at all.

In our opening sequence, the equilibrium is Kristela talking to the
audience reassuring them that she is pranking her roommate Alannah.
Everything seems fine whilst she sets up the Ouija Board in the room.

DISRUPTION – This is when the level of happiness is troubled in the
equilibrium. This is due to a problem occurring between the characters, or
the surroundings of the situation.

The disruption of our sequence is when Kristela starts to play with the
Ouija Board and she realises that it actually works. She freaks out and
realises that she is too scared to carry on with the prank. However, as she
gets up to go to the camera to switch it off; something grabs her and
pushes her leaving the audience concerned about what happened to her.

Although there are 5 stages of Todorov’s theory, our two-minute
sequence only included equilibrium and a disruption.
The last three stages of the structure
are:
RESOLUTION – This part of the plot is when
everyone realises the disruption of the film.

RECOGNITION OF DISRUPTION AND
RESOLUTION – Usually the protagonist, will
identify that the state of the equilibrium has
changed and will eventually fix and resolve the
problem, with a number of attempts. The
protagonist does not give up until he/she resolves
the disruption.

NEW EQUILIBRIUM – The equilibrium has been
resolved, and the peaceful atmosphere has returned, with no
complications remaining.