Narrative vs. Non-Narrative

As our week 8 lectorial focuses on narratives… and non-narratives, we’ve learned about the “Hero’s Journey”. This theory outline is used in most narrative forms such as in religious storytelling, popular culture, myths in books, films and etc. Narratives include a process, development or a progression of the character within the story undergoing a journey. It is exemplified in the Bible of Christianity in which Jesus was born and went on an adventure called from the Father, then faced challenges in which He had to die on the cross. These events are then followed by a revelation and transformation of how Jesus rose from the dead and return as the Christian God. heros-journey-wheel

A simpler and general outline of the Hero’s Journey is presented below. We have seen comical movies like Marvel’s heroes and its narrative undergoes this process of storytelling. Similarly to the disney characters such as Cinderella or Mulan would also follow this outline. Therefore, the “hero” in this case does not mean a saviour in the story, but is any main character undergoing a process of journey.



And now to the non-narratives examples. This refers to the method of storytelling with series of unrelated events, no connection or logic… Basically, it’s nonsense if we read the text in a general matter. It has no chronological order or development of the character or subject and also has no specific clear context. Unlike the narratives, non-narrative sequences are lacking causality. We would see this in abstract, or experimental films such as “Koyaanisqatsi” and from what I’ve seen in one of my cinema studies screenings, “Ballet Mécanique”. Non-narratives often focus more on motif and rather more poetic in terms of its order of sequences. In our lectorial this week, we were shown this film.

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