The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Narrative techniques

Firstly, we discussed the meaning of 'narrative techniques', which basically means different ways of telling a story.

We then spoke about eight different Narrative techniques, which were:

Expostion-Provides background information,establishes the setting and introduces the character. It also explains the story and gives the you content. Examples for Exposition is the introduction of all the Star Wars movies.

In media res-this narrative technique is when a play opens on a scene at the middle or end of the story. This is often different from flashbacks and dream sequences. the main reason for In media res is to unroll the full story in front of the audience. Examples for In media res is the movies Pulp Fiction, and Kill Bill

Historical Present-This is using present tense when narrating or describing past events. It is describing past events as if they are happening now. Examples for Historical Present is the news, and many of Shakespeares academic writings

Dream sequence-This is a brief interlude from the main story. It adds another perspective on something e.g funnier or sadder. Examples for Dream sequences are movies and programmes such as Scrubs, Vanilla Sky, Everybody Hates Chris and Gladiator.

Retroactive Continuity-This is when the author delibrately alters the facts that already is established. It may be used to reintroduce popular characters, update a series for modern audiences or just to create more confusion. Examples of Retroactive Continuity are movies such as Donny Darko and Lucky number sleven.

Stream of consciousness-This is the attempt to portray a certain characters point of view,or thought process. Examples of Stream of consciousness are Inbetweeners,Scrubs,Peep show,American psycho and My name is Earl.

Flashback-This is when the present day in a play or movie the narrator takes you back in time. they usually foreshadow later events that may happen in the future. Flashbacks are mainly use to help build character personality and story, and also fills in crucial back story. Examples for Flashbacks are CSI,Family guy and One Tree Hill.

Flashforward-Just like Flash back, except it goes forward instead of backwards. It is used to show what happends in the future. Examples for Flashforwards are Final Destination and Thats so Raven.

Afterwards, we began reading where we left off on Death of a Salesman. In the book now, Willy remenisces the times when he his sons were still in education. His friend then comes in, plays abit of cards, and then Willy imagines his dead brother-Ben entering the room. The audience can hear and see him, but none of the characters can. He is then having a conversation in two different times of his life. This is called Mobile Concurrency, a Narrative technique in which two time frames are happening in the same time. The audience can see it, but certain characters cannot.

The lesson ended with us writing what Willy thinks of his brother Ben, and what Ben thinks of Willy.

Bye xx



  1. A good detailed post Saways. it covers all we did in the lesson and surely will make the absent students fully understand what they missed.


  2. the narrative techniques are a little bit hard to grasp, are the a neccessit for our essays or is it just somthing prefered

  3. my favourite technique is Retroactive Continuity, i think that is amazing that you mislead the audience and then show them a whole new conclusion. Miller is very talented,to have used most of the techniques in the play.

  4. great job on the blog and commenting on narrative techniques