Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Week 1-Narratology and the Matrix

After reading Narratology: An Introduction by Jose Angel and Garcia Landa, I think it best to highlight what stood out to me.
First of all, I agree with Aristotle who believed that plot is the key element to any narrative.  Many factors contribute to a good story, but an attractive plot is the tying piece.  If you have interesting characters and a boring plot, it can be painful to try to move on in the story, but if you have a good plot, even if the characters are less than great, you will want to find out how the story progresses.  After trying to navigate through the material, I came across a question that I found interesting:  “In what sense can we analyze the structure of a narrative?”  This question is answered by the very definition of narrative, “the representation of a series of events.”  Angel and Landa suggest that the story can be studied by the events that occur as well as the position of each event and how each relates to the other.  Because of the resulting dialogue and/or actions of the characters, a mood can be attributed with each successive part.  From this, the story can be divided into a beginning, middle, and end. (p. 12)
Another appealing idea is that of the illusory view of story.  The authors explain that a text is “a linguistic-construct, while a story is a cognitive scheme of events.” (p. 15)  I suppose what they mean is that the text is merely the words on the page.  The story is the meaning that arises from the text.  The plot, the characters, and the events happening around the characters all come together to create the atmosphere of and within the story.  All the elements of the story are necessary and artfully used by the author(s) to create a particular feeling within the reader.  This is what readers will carry with them even after they have finished reading.
In relation to the question posed by Professor Bennett concerning the Matrix…I would have chosen the blue pill being me, but as Neo, I would have chosen the red one.  He didn’t seem to have any real friends, he obviously wasn’t happy with his job, and he had been searching for answers about the matrix.  This new opportunity seemed quite perfect and came at a very good time.