Narrative theory powerpoint

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  1. 1. Narrative theory By Nicole Tunningley
  2. 2. Hero The hero is typically the main character of the story, they usually have some form of goal hence the story because if they didnt the story wouldnt have its plot. The hero in traditionally cases tends to be the good guy who has some form of skill or personality that allows them to obtain the hero title. Yet in modern cases this is twisted and it has become common for a typically villain/nuisance in society being the heroic persona of the story. This can be seen in the film Kill Bill were the main character Beatrix Kiddo (who is an assassin) has a mission to essentially kill bill, this is her quest but she does it in what would traditionally seem to be a villainous fashion. In my story, The Elves and the Shoemaker the question of who has the hero title is quite debatable and all depends of the perspective of the reader. The shoemaker may in some sense be the hero because he is the main character of the story but on the other hand he does not really do anything of importance to fix the situation he is in (his poverty). The elves, who are introduced later on in the story, do. They are the ones who help the shoemaker out of his situation but their intentions and motives are not clear and it is not stated or thought that they had anything to gain from doing what they did. They do come out better from the situation but I dont believe they thought they would, it could be argued that the elves were just morally helping the shoemaker out which adds to the heroism of them as it is a essentially a heroic trait to help/save someone from a bad situation. Overall, in my story I believe that the elves are the heros as without them the shoemaker would be in a much worse state and with the intentions of the elves, I believe that they did it as a moral decision as if it were their duty to help the shoemaker.
  3. 3. Villain The villain in most cases is against the hero, either because they want what the hero is after or they are just in generally morally bad. This type of character would usually have the audience routing for the hero and in most cases the immoral aspects of the villain highlight the righteousness of the hero and together they give the story a moral balance. Another definition of a villain is someone/something that stops or prevents the hero from obtaining or achieving their goal. A typical villain description is well fitted with the example of Maleficent in the traditional story of Sleeping Beauty because she curses the princess to eternal sleep and this is an immoral decision against the hero of the story. I believe that the villain in my story doesnt really take a physical form like traditional and most modern stories because the only thing really preventing the main character from reaching his prize is the poverty that he is in. To elaborate this idea I have considered the different aspects of the storyline which restricts the shoemaker in some form and as he is essentially a shoemaker, his goal is to make shoes. But due to the fact that he is as poor as he is at the beginning of the story he is unable to make anymore than one pair of shoes because he has no more money to buy the materials to make them. This is the only element restricting the shoemaker of achieving his goal, therefore fitting the description of a villain, hence why I believe that the only villain in this story is the poverty of the shoemaker.
  4. 4. Princess/prize The princess or prize is defined typically as what the hero is after in the story or what they will achieve/obtain at the end of their quest. In traditional story telling like in fairytales the princess may only be seen in the end where the hero completes his quest and collects his prize, which would normally be the princess hand in marriage. The princess or prize can be pursued by many including the villain and the false hero. An example of this form of character can be seen with the more modern film trilogy of The hobbit where it is the groups mission/quest to get to the lonely mountain and retrieve the arken stone. It is quite familiar in modern stories that the initial prize sought at the beginning of the story may differ from what they hero actually wants/gets in the end. I would say that the princess/prize in The Elves and the Shoemaker can be defined as the goal of the elves to help the shoemaker. This is more of an abstract, psychological prize as it is not physically obtained but if the elves saw helping the shoemaker in some sense as their duty then fulfilling it would be their prize. At first glance the prize might seem as the clothes the shoemaker and his wife give to the elves but I think that because the elves in their mythology didnt really do this duty for a prize of clothing that it doesnt count as they had no intention or knowledge that they would obtain a gift from the shoemaker as thanks. So you could say the prize of my story is the happiness of all the characters.
  5. 5. Donor The donor is a character that gives the hero something for their quest, this could be seen as a physical gift like a weapon, some form of magic or a tool to help them in a certain situation. But it could also be seen as something less physical and more spiritual like advice, a clue or the motivation to continue. This role can be blended with the helper because they both in some form lend assistance to the hero of the story. It is quite common that the donor may give the hero this particular gift only after something is completed which benefits the donor. This is seen in The Hobbit trilogy also with Gollum who offers Bilbo his assistance on how to get out of the cave if he wins him in a battle of riddles, this can cause tension in a story if the hero loses and the donor obtains something from the hero which leaves them in a bad situation. In my story, the only obvious donor is the elves as they offer their skills to the shoemaker to help him make shoes. But when thought in more depth it could be argued that the shoemakers wife could obtain this role as she is the one that makes the clothes for the elves just as the shoemaker crafts the shoes, this is a gift to the elves that alleviates them of their duties of making the shoes so that they are free.
  6. 6. The Helper The Hero is supported in their quest by the Helper, who appears typically at critical moments in the story to provide support. The Helper may also be found throughout the story by the heros side almost like a sidekick, helping the hero in dire situations. The limitations of he helper such as stupidity, cowardliness and weakness often help to highlight and define the hero's somewhat heroic characteristics such as intelligence, determination, courage, etc. An example of a helper can be Sam in the Lord of the rings trilogy, who helps Frodo (the highlighted hero of the story) take the one ring to Mordor to save Middle Earth. The defining traits of Sam may be his determination because he knows when the quest is complete he can go home to the shire, this is defining because the hero loses his hope frequently in the story so the helper makes up for it so much that people even begin to class him as the hero of the story. In my story I believe that the helper(s) can be defined as the elves because they are the ones who made the shoes for the shoemaker when he was in a bad place at the beginning of the story, this can in some sense be classified as a critical moment or a dire situation. Though the elves are small and petite and dont really look like much they help the shoemaker and his wife financially and emotionally, lifting their spirits and giving them enough money and skill to last them the rest of their lives.
  7. 7. The Princess father The Princess Father is the one who typically in traditional storytelling gives the task or quest to complete to the hero. The Princess's Father is a important figure for the Hero to persuade or impress, as the Father is pretty much always protective of his daughter. The Father may also be competing in some sense with the Hero for the Princess's affections and a triangle may form. It is quite common in modern storytelling that the princess and the father can not quite as clearly spotted unlike the hero or the helper. They may therefore prove to be much more difficult to locate in more modern storytelling. I dont really believe there is a Princess father character type in my story but as an example of the type, I believe that Lord Elrond in the Lord of the rings trilogy fits the character of the Princess father as he wishes to protect his daughter Arwen (a possible princess consideration) from the dangers that follow Aragorn (a possible consideration for the hero character) this is a sort of triangular formed relationship in the complex story.
  8. 8. The false hero The False Hero is a character who appears to act heroically and at the beginning of the story may even be mistaken for the actual Hero. The False Hero may try to steal the Hero's thunder, this may mean taking the credit for his heroic deeds though they may actually be a coward and perhaps one that is trying to marry the princess therefore making him some form of competition for the hero. The False Hero may have also gained the respect or some form of control over the Princess's Father, therefore frustrating the hero as it makes it even more difficult to gain the hand of the princess. I dont believe that my story has a false hero as my with the amount of characters my story has can limit their roles but a well-known example of one that does could be Scar from The Lion king, he appears at first in the story as a good uncle to Simba the future king and only wants the best for him. But it is clear later on in the story that all he wants is the throne and the only things standing in his way is his brother Mufasa and his nephew Simba giving him bad intentions.
  9. 9. The dispatcher An early rol