Todorov – Narrative / Narratology Theory

Tsetevan Todorov

Todorov – narrative / narratology theory

What is it ?

Stories are structured like a wheel:

  1. An ‘equilibrium’ where everything is ‘normal’
  2. A problem occurs
  3. The problem is recognised by the characters
  4. The characters try to solve the problem
  5. A new ‘equilibrium’ – there is normality again, but it might be a ‘new normal.


What is the more advanced version?

Narratology is the study of narrative; in this case, of narrative structure – how the parts fit together to make a whole.

All narratives can be seen as a move from one state of equilibrium (where nothing need occur) to another, new equilibrium. The disruption to the equilibrium is what drives the narrative towards a new equilibrium.

The movement from the initial equilibrium to the new equilibrium entails a transformation (e.g. the hero expresses their heroism and defeats the villain) – this transformation expresses what the narrative values.

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