I really enjoyed todays class, finding the clips and conversation to be very engaging. After having focused on typical Western story structures last week, the non-Western story was at the forefront of conversation today. At first, we revisited genre to break it down into five stages: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. In breaking down this standard layout, Scott was able to show us how conflict is integrated into the stories we are familiar with, and without it, the story wouldn’t be the same. Some writers and novelists argue that if a story had no conflict, it would be ‘hard to follow’.
“In order to present a good narrative, you have to develop the problem
and the characters who are bound up in it.” – Amanda Kane
This, however is exactly what many non-Western stories do not contain, and yet they’re still perfectly enjoyable! Kishōtenketsu is a four-step act which many Chinese and Japanese stories use. This method contains an: introduction, development, twist and reconciliation. Instead of relying on conflict, this method focuses upon twists and transformation instead. We had a look into the story world of Super Mario to see how this has been applied to video games too! From this we can see that in the beginning, Mario is faced with a challenge, he is provided with a skill to learn, the skill is perfected and then Mario can progress onto the next challenge. Both Western and non-Western stories result in change and can have lessons learn along the way. However, the non-Western stories prove that conflict can be absent and it won’t affect the quality of the story whatsoever.
Another thing that I really found quite informative and resounding in truth was the TED Talk below. Overall, it was about the dangers of the single story, or single experience of something. Often people will draw upon the stories and things they hear about something in order to gain an understanding of it, and shape some kind of story from it. However there are always many more sides to any given story and what we shouldn’t do is focus on the stereotypes that are often used to project such narrow-minded visions. We also looked at a horrible NZ T.V ad to further demonstrate this. The car advert reinforced that although a certain type of story is trying to be portrayed (escape from technology/rat race and get amongst nature), it unfortunately also falls into the danger of projecting another meaning entirely due to certain design choices that thrust it into an array of singular stories (the rich white people can afford the expensive car).