Please download the document. With regard to this short story, the theory of narrative situations by Franz Stanzel provides a convincing option of classification. Apply it to one of the texts we read. The category voice deals with the narrating entity and its position to the fictional world, called diegesis. Genette distinguishes between different narrators according to their position. The homodiegetic narrator, in opposition to a heterodiegetic narrator, is part of the fictional world.

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Many of these tales conform to the traditional "happily ever after" scenario, but some end on a sad note. Fairy tales are usually seen as having happy endings. Why, then, does Andersen choose unhappy endings for some of these tales? Are these tales works of pure fantasy, or do they have any deeper meanings or teachings? Catherine is a big fan of Gothic tales and imagines that Northanger Abbey will be the sort of spooky, mysterious place that has grabbed her imagination.

When it turns out to be kind of dull, Catherine is determined to find some sort of intrigue and becomes convinced that murder has been committed within the family. Think about the sort of narration does Austen uses in this novel. Does the narrator stay behind the scenes and or do they have a more obvious presence? And does this remain the case throughout the whole novel? What sorts of events and plot devices would you expect to find?

The story follows Farquhar during his escape from his captors, focusing on both his physical and emotional state as he tries to make his way home to his wife and child. However, it turns out that some miracles are too good to be true… Looking back on the story, does the twist at the end come out of the blue, or are there any clues that something is up before we get to the ending? The narrative begins with Farquhar waiting to be hanged, but does this mark the start of the story?

Yu Tsun, who has been working for the German army as a spy. In this statement, Yu Tsun describes his experience of being pursued by a British officer and finding a way to communicate vital info to his German colleagues before he is caught.

From a narrative perspective, things get extra interesting when Yu Tsun is introduced to a maze-like book that was written by one of his ancestors… and that gets him thinking about the nature of time and fate. Why might Borges have chosen this angle, and how does it affect our reading?

What is the relationship between time and literature, as presented in this story? Do they have a similar structure? A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Dickens wrote some of the best-loved stories of all time, and this one is definitely up there. Part of its appeal is its simple but effective narrative arc. He tells Scrooge to expect a visit from three more ghosts showing him his past, present, and future.

Sure enough, these ghosts arrive and give Scrooge a few home truths. This reality check is just what Scrooge needs, and by the end of the story, he has learned the value of kindness and is on the road to redemption.

Why may Dickens have chosen to use a third-person narrator rather than have Scrooge narrate his experiences firsthand? What role do binary oppositions play in this text?

Well, as the story draws to a close, and the lottery finds a "winner," we find out the shocking truth. How does the opening paragraph shape our expectations regarding this story?

And to what extent does the narrative meet or challenge these expectations? The characters in this story all know the true nature of the lottery, but the reader is kept mostly in the dark until the end.

Why has Jackson chosen this approach, and how does it affect your reading? What would the story be like if we were equally clued in? Luckily, he manages to escape. His bravery and skill win out in the end , and with the enemy defeated, everyone can rest easy once again. Think for a moment about the difference between narrative voice and focalization: we know that this story is told by a third-person narrator, but whose perspective are we getting? Some of the main characters in this story are animals, but do you feel that they are humanized in any way?

The novel starts out with the following sentence: "Call me Ishmael. Why does Melville include so much background info on whaling? In what ways, if any, does this shape your attitude toward the novel and its narrator? King Lear by William Shakespeare c. However, when his youngest daughter, Cordelia, refuses to suck up to him in the same way as his other two daughters just did, he cuts her out of this arrangement. Lear ends up wandering around the countryside, losing his mind and crying out against what has happened.

How do you feel by the time this tragedy reaches its conclusion? Do you just feel bummed out, or does the narrative have any other effects?

Do you see King Lear as a character you can relate to? If so, what qualities make him relatable? Poetics by Aristotle c. The types of works that Aristotle discusses include works of drama especially tragedy and lyrical and epic poetry. Aristotle is all about narrative. He sees spectacle as the least important factor in a successful tragedy. What are his reasons for thinking this way? And do you agree? What does Aristotle mean by "mimesis," and why does he see this quality as being so important?

It breaks narrative down into segments, looking at stuff like events, time, and location. It also outlines different ways of turning a story into a full-fledged narrative. Some of the topics under discussion include frequency, predictability, suspense, and rhythm, with Bal giving plenty of examples of texts that make use of these techniques.

Discussing the ways in which a narrative can shape the responses of its readers, Bal suggests that focalization is "the most important, most penetrating, and most subtle means of manipulation. For what reasons might we take this sort of approach? And how easy is it to put into practice? The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell Despite being an academic work, this is one of those books that has crossed over and enjoyed a lot of publicity and fame in the wider world.

Like many of the other narratologists discussed throughout this module, Campbell found that myths from around the world share an underlying structure—a structure that has remained popular through the centuries.

Campbell refers to this type of narrative as the "monomyth": the tale of the hero who must venture into a world beyond his own, undertake a series of tasks, and overcome all manner of obstacles before triumphing in the end. Sounds familiar, right? Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film by Seymour Chatman Working as a structuralist and film theorist, Chatman uses this book to study the ins and outs of narrative in a variety of texts.

Chatman also discusses the factors that we need to consider when analyzing how a narrative plays out, including the order of events, causality how one event brings about another , and time and space. For a useful example, check out the section in which he looks at a comic strip through a narratological lens. Chatman refers to the "naturalizing" of a narrative. What does this mean and how can it be achieved? The Role of the Reader by Umberto Eco Academic theory is usually seen as pretty stuffy, but Eco helps lighten things up by analyzing stuff like Superman and James Bond.

This also goes to show that narrative plays a big role in all types of texts—not just myths and fairy tales, but also the stuff that we read or watch in our everyday lives. James Bond and Superman have been seriously popular for years and are still big news today, so it makes sense to ask what makes their narratives work. When discussing James Bond and Superman, Eco talks about the predictability of these narratives and characters. Why would the authors choose to put together narratives in this way?

As for the Superman comic strip, Eco notes that although each week sees the start of a new story rather than carrying on from the week before, there still has to be some sense of connection between these stories.

How, then, do writers create a successful balance? According to Genette, what factors go toward creating the "mood" of a narrative? How can we tell whether narration is homodiegetic or heterodiegetic? As is typical of narratologists, he went beyond the surface of myths to discover and describe their structures: for him, it was all about finding the underlying patterns that organize language and society.

Are these oppositions always portrayed as equal, or is there an imbalance? Is one side shown as better or worse than the other? Morphology of the Folktale by Vladimir Propp Loads of theorists have come up with narratological models and have coined lots of jazzy terms; Propp, however, is remembered for turning theory into practice with this analysis of Russian wonder tales. In this text, Propp identifies 31 functions that make up these tales, starting with "absentation" the hero or another family member leaves homes and ending with "wedding" the hero gets married and is rewarded.

He also divides characters into 7 main types hero, villain, princess, etc. Basically, his whole point is that these tales usually work to the same template. Structuralism often gets a bum rap for ignoring this stuff, but are there any plus points about shifting focus from content to structure? A Theory of Narrative by F. Stanzel This book is all about "mediacy"—basically, the voice of a narrator standing between the reader and the events described. What is the difference between "dynamization" and "schematization"?

The Poetics of Prose by Tzvetan Todorov This is one of the texts in which Todorov outlines his theory of narrative structure. Why does Todorov see the restoration of equilibrium as the hallmark of the "ideal" narrative?

Todorov distinguishes between narrative succession and narrative transformation, but how can transformation be brought about? What possible narrative devices might do the job?


Narrative Theory Texts

Texts do not mean whatever die interpreter wants diem to mean. Syntax counts. Reminding us that "the continuity of history depends upon die infinite process of interpretation that renders die past for die future," he would rescue history from being "merely a funerary monument" pp. But when he argues diat all evidence and selection must be random and arbitrary, he opens "an abyss ofendiese interpretations" widiout significance pp.


Franz Karl Stanzel

In he was offered a position as professor Ordinariat in Erlangen. In he succeeded Koziol in Graz. Scholarship[ edit ] Since the s Stanzel worked on an analytical topology for the description of the narrative mode , also often called "narrative situation" or "point of view" of narrative texts. Despite lots of criticism, his typological circle of three narrative situations is still taught in introductions to German literary studies at German universities e.





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