Theories of Narrative Compare

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The theories of narrative structures of the Amazing Spiderman – Game Boy and the Spiderman Movie Quick time and Trailer 1 demonstrate both similarities and difference. One notable theory of narrative that has been used in both the movie and the game is the story Arcs. The word arc is used to denote something that appears like a curve with the intention that the movie or the game takes the reader or the viewer through a rollercoaster kind of an emotional journey. The narrative story structure of the game and the movie are composed of story threads with compositions of several coherent storylines that are threaded in a single long narrative structure. This is because, in both art works, the reader automatically moves from one plot or stage to another in a coherent manner.

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This is different from other types of literature in which the reader or the player cannot guess the next stage of the game because one stage is not coherent with the next immediate stage. The consecutive episodes are weaved in a thread like manner that gives each room for each and every individual episode to explore its own storyline. This has involved the application of a series of inevitable points to project the fold back story structure. According to Callinicos (12) “to contrive an example, a series of inevitable points in a fold back story structure can be used to construct the story arc that plays out through a game as a whole”. The application of the arc has been widely used in both the movie and the game.

Both Amazing Spiderman – Game Boy and the Spiderman Movie Quick time and Trailer 1 have applied the emotional rollercoaster that lead the characters’ lives through a narrative arc that can be seen again and again as the plots unfolds.

In addition to the arc, both Amazing Spiderman – Game Boy and the Spiderman Movie Quick time and Trailer 1 have used The Three Act Structure with each of them separated into the three normal parts of story. These include part one (setup), part two (confrontation) and part three (resolution). In the beginning the game introduces the player to the set up of the game. These involve the characters, the situation just as the movie introduces the viewer to the ensuing conflicts and the characters. The two art works share this in common in that just like the game; the movie also introduces its major themes and characters in the setup. According to Hirst (1), in the Beginning you introduce the reader to the setting, the characters and the situation (conflict) they find themselves in and their goal. Plot Point 1 is a situation that drives the main character from their “normal” life toward some different conflicting situation that the story is about.

I believe both the Amazing Spiderman – Game Boy and the Spiderman Movie Quick time and Trailer 1 share this narrative strategy in common. They both introduce the inciting incident in the story before ushering the player or the viewer to the midpoint that forms the confrontational part of the artwork. According to Culler (11), “Great stories often begin at Plot Point 1, thrusting the main character right into the thick of things, but they never really leave out Act 1, instead filling it in with back story along the way.” This is the typical narrative strategy of the arc, where the characters just as the plot or at times the themes revolve.

In the confrontation stage, both the Amazing Spiderman – Game Boy and the Spiderman Movie Quick time and Trailer 1 develop a series of complications and obstacles that all lead the viewer of the player to the a mini crisis and tests the viewer’s or the player’s ability to solve the crisis. Whereas each of the ensuing mini challenges is solved, the plot of the movie of the game develops to more complicated challenges until it inevitable leads to the ultimate challenge. In the analysis of the three act structure that is a narrative theory widely used in the two Spider man works, Martin (41) and Ryan (19) both illustrate that “as the story progresses, there is a rising and falling of tension with each crisis, but an overall rising tension as we approach the Climax; the resolution of the Climax is Plot Point 2”.

In the analysis of narrative theories, Levin (1) states that before the denouement can take place, there are two key features identified by Aristotle that are still important in any drama: anagnorisis, which can be translated as recognition or discovery, and peripeteia, or a change from one state of affairs to its opposite, a reversal of fortune

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The dramatic events as presented in both the Amazing Spiderman – Game Boy and the Spiderman Movie Quick time and Trailer 1 have been widely used to manipulate the emotions and feelings of the audience as depicted by the levels of the tension the player and the viewer feel through the engagement with the characters as they live out of the story.

In addition to the above, both the Amazing Spiderman – Game Boy and the Spiderman Movie Quick time and Trailer 1 have made application of the narrative theory of the Hero’s journey in both of their works. In my analysis of the two works, I believe the only difference falls under this category. Whereas the movie has extensively used the Hero’s journey from the departure, initiation to the return; the game on the other hand has presented the challenge for the player to exploit and achieve the preceding steps on the Heroes journey.

In conclusion, while the topic on the theories of narrative is a very large topic that cannot be fully exploited on a tow page paper, I believe this analysis of the two works of the Spiderman have managed to open up some of the narrative techniques that have been used by artists to impact greatly on the emotions of the player or the viewer. As has been demonstrated, both the Amazing Spiderman – Game Boy and the Spiderman Movie Quick time and Trailer 1 share some of the most common narrative theories in their attempts to present their themes.

Works Cited

  1. Callinicos, Alex. Theories and narratives: reflections on the philosophy of history. Duke University Press, 1995. (8-14)
  2. Culler, Jonathan. Theories of Narratives. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2009. (10-13).
  3. Hirst, Tony. “Story Arcs and the Three Act Structure”.
  4. Levin, Alan. “The hero’s journey: summary of the steps”.
  5. Martin, Wallace. Recent theories of narrative. Cornell University Press, 1986. (39-43)
  6. Ryan, Marie-Laure. Possible worlds, artificial intelligence, and narrative theory. Indiana University Press, 1991.(19-23).

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