Thursday, 7 October 2010

Narrative Codes- Roland Barthes

At the beginning of the lesson we learnt a little bit about the man Roland Barthes himself. He was a semiologist, which means he basically studied different texts for a living.
When a story is being told the narrative either has to be open or closed.

Open Narrative-Can be unravelled in many different ways, and lead to many different things. For examples many soaps have any open narrative like Eastenders or Hollyoaks.
Closed Narrative- There is only one obvious thread to pull on. Which means that only one outcome could be possible instead of various choices. Examples of this would be children's programmes as they nearly 100% of the time finish with a happy ending.

In media there are different codes. These examples explain what each code contains:

Action Code- Applies to any action that implies a further narrative or action. An example of this would be if someone draws a gun, something else has to take place next.
Enigma Code- This refers to any element in a story that is not explained, and therefore exists as an enigma for the audience, raising question that demand an explanation.
The Semantic Code- An element in a text that suggests a particular, and often additional meaning. For example it may say something, but wants to imply a completely different thing.
The Cultural Code- Any element in a narrative that refers to a 'science or body of knowledge'. In other words the Cultural Code tends to point out our shared knowledge about the way in which the world works.
The Symbolic Code- A code which is very difficult to be explained. The code that shows what makes the different within certain things.

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