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What is Narrative?

Narrative in the media industry is the way events in stories are put together to be presented to an audience. Narrative is about the construction of the story for example, the way it has been put together, not the story itself. A use of narrative is a voice over during a theatre showing or film. Wikipedia A narrative is a constructive format (as a work of speech, writing,
song, film, television, video games, photography or theatre) that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to tell", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled.

What Narrative theorists can you find?


Tzvetan Todorov is a Franco-Bulgarian philosopher. He has lived in France since 1963 with his wife Nancy Huston and their two children, writing books and essays about literary theory, thought history and culture theory. Russian theorist Todorov, suggests that all narratives follow a three part structure. 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 Disequilibrium Equilibrium. This simple formula can be applied to virtually all narratives it is a more formal way of thinking about the beginning, middle and end, and it takes into account Aristotle's theory that all drama is conflict ie there is a disequilibrium at the heart of every narrative.

What Narrative theorists can you find?


Another theorist, Vladimir Propp was a Soviet formalist scholar who analised the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements. Who came up with the theory that there are only a certain number of characters, who crop up in most narratives. It is easy to spot the hero and villain in most cases, but here are some others: Protagonist (or Hero) Leads the narrative, is usually looking for something (a quest) or trying to solve something (a mystery). Does not have to be male, Antagonist (or Villain) - Gets in the protagonist's way, Heroine - Is usually some sort of prize or reward for the hero. If your hero is male, your heroine would be female, Father - An authority figure who offers a reward to the hero for completing their quest. That reward might be a prince or a princess or a cool new job, Helper - Helps the hero - often acts as a sidekick, Donor - Gives the hero something - a clue, a talisman, a special power - which helps them complete their quest, Mentor - Teaches and guides the hero. These characters and the typical things that they do can be seen across a wide range of narratives. We expect them to be there, and to behave in a certain way.

What Narrative theorists can you find?


Claude Lvi-Strauss was a French anthropologist and ethnologist, and has been called, along with James George Frazer, the "father of modern anthropology. 20th century theorist Claude Levi-Strauss suggested that all narratives had to be driven forward by conflict that was cause by a series of opposing forces. He called this the theory of Binary Opposition, and it is used to describe how each main force in a narrative has its equal and opposite. Analysing a narrative means identifying these opposing forces: light/dark, good/evil, noise/silence, youth/age, right/wrong, poverty/wealth, strength/weakness, inside/outside and understanding how the conflict between them will drive the narrative on until, finally, some sort of balance or resolution is achieved.

What Narrative theorists link to the Horror genre?


Tzvetan Todorovs theory relates to the Horror genre because his theory of a 3 part structure often tends to occur during Horror movies. His formula of a Equilibrium Disequilibrium Equilibrium follows the same conventions of what would be viewed in a Horror movie. Vladamir Propps theory links to the Horror genre because his theory of there always being only a certain number of characters who crop up in most narratives links into the common Horror genre characters. For example, A hero and Villain, a Heroin. Claude Lvi-Strauss theory links to the Horror genre because his theory of Binary Opposition which analyses opposing forces relates to horror as there is always good and evil, sometimes a hero but always a villain or a group of villains, strengths and weaknesses.