Narrative Theory

What is the difference between narrative and plot?

The plot is the way in which the director chooses to portray the story, through characters, settings, props etc. The Narrative is what happens chronologically in the story, narrative refers to the codes and conventions that are used to organize a story. It is the way a story is set out, it is about storytelling not description, and it includes a beginning, a middle and an end.

Non-linear and Linear narrative?

Non-linear means the storyline is not in chronological order.

Linear means that the story is in chronological order and has a clear beginning, middle and end.

Todorovs narrative theory?

There are 5 main stages to Todorovs narrative theory, first of all there is,

Equilibrium – this is the stage where the narrative is steady and unchanged.

Disruption of equilibrium – where something happens to change the narrative.

Realisation of the disruption – Characters in the narrative realise that there is a disruption.

Quest to restore the equilibrium – Doesn’t necessarily have to be a quest, but consists of some struggle.

Re-establish equilibrium – A resolution, a clear ending.

Binary opposites – Levi Strauss

Stauss believed that the way we understand certain words depends more on our understanding of the difference between the word and its opposite, or ‘binary opposite’. E.g villain – hero, sane – insane, good – evil.

Action and enigma codes

The narrative is driven by action and enigma codes,

Action code – advances the narrative and tells you what is coming next.

Enigma code – Controls what the audience sees and knows, sets up clues about hat is to come next but leaves the audience to guess.




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