By Kaey Somorin
Chapter nine discusses story telling and how it impacts humans in their daily lives. The chapter starts by saying how it is natural for humans to use self talk. We have the need for companionship which is known as intersubjectivity. Even if we don’t have this companionship we would believe that others thought the same way we did. Each mode of connecting or dialogic domain shapes the way humans think. Before stories were written down people told stories orally and that was how communication got passed down through generations. As each person told the same story more information was added to the story. When writing came along some people believed that part of oral communication was taken away because when you write down a story you lose the tone and the voice. But at the same time elements such as point of view and history were able to be added. Some of these myths that were told back then are still told today. Greek and Roman myths are thought to be “universal and timeless” (King, P.g 232). A journalist Jack Lule believes that the job of a journalist is to maintain certain elements from myths. These elements are the seven main archetypes: the victim, scapegoat, good mother, hero, trickster, other world and flood.
The chapter goes on to talk about journalism and documentaries. Facts do not necessarily add up to the truth. The line between fiction and non-fiction over the years have been blurred. For example, news and documentaries have used made up characters and reenactments to help explain their ideas to their audience.
One constant problem with the mass media and storytelling is the amount of fake stories they receive and broadcast about. Fake storytelling quickly ruins the credibility of mass media. A lot of magazines are just considered gossip magazines now because a lot of what they write about is just speculation.
Humans listen to stories to make sense out of their lives. These stories give meaning to events that occur in our day to day lives. A story is suppose to not only say what is told but why it is being told. All humans want to do is make meaning of their lives and they do this by making meaning out of the stories they hear and the events they are involved in. Since “the media world provides many more stories of greater variety than are available in direct social relations” humans rely the most on it to make meaning (King, P.g 238).
There are four main media types: oral histories, screenwriting genres and transmedia stories. Oral histories are personal stories that are based on someone’s spoken words. The news, documentaries and fiction that is based on fact are all types of oral histories. They are supposed to tell the speaker’s story and don’t require a expert storyteller. Therefore, oral histories are noticeably different from novel writing or screenwriting because they do require a expert storyteller. In screenwriting there is no internal dialogue or thorough descriptions. What is seen is what is told. There are three basic parts to a screen write. In the first act, the exposition, the story is set and the audience meets the protagonist. At the end of the first act there is a point of no return. In the second act, the low moment in the story, the protagonist tries multiple ways to get out of the low point. In the third act the protagonist changes the events that are occurring which leads to the climax. The screen write concludes with the protagonist being changed forever. Genres are story types and help the audience understand the media they are experiencing better. Song, magazine, television shows, and commercials all have genres. Transmedia Stories were created by the idea of The Blair Witch Project. The film directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez created a website that made it seem as though certain events had taken place. Once the audience was sucked into the story they created a movie out of it. Some people don’t like this kind of mass media because films are usually open ended and they feel like they are left with a poor ending. Others, love it because they are able to do some research and see what else there is about the story. The name is fitting for what it is because it transcends multiple media types.
The required reading talks about a film “Birth of a nation” which is a film based on Thomas Dixon’s two racist novels, “The Clansman and The Leopards spot. it also talks about a female black actress Sul Te Wan who plays a role in the movie and later became the “first black woman to be a contract player in the movie industry” (King, Pg 247). The article talks about a novel “Invisible Man” which is based on how black people were invisible in new technologies after the civil war. Birth had profound impact because of Griffith “manipulation of film grammar through editing and montage”(King, Pg 248). The reading talks about lynching and how it was one of the major news reports in America. Birth of a nation is regarded as one of those movies which “presents an emotionally charged historical argument in an aesthetically dynamic package” (King, Pg. 248)
There are various connections between the required reading and the textbook chapter. The first connection is that “The Birth of a Nation” was adapted from two novels: the Clansmen and the Leopards Spot. The chapter talks about screen writing which is focused on adapting books to screen plays which can be seen by a mass media audience. The second connection would be that the movie has a transparent line between fiction and non- fiction. Birth of a Nation is described to be a “fictional account of reconstruction” (King, Pg. 258) but it is based on real events. Further evidence that proves that birth of nation be classified as fiction or non- fiction would be that in the book birth of a nation can be described as “our knowledge of years between 1890 and 1920” (King, Pg. 254)
One of my favorite narratives which these concepts could apply to would be “Derailed” This is a movie about a guy who finds himself having an an affair, being blackmailed, and having the police investigate him for murder, all because he missed his usual commuter train one day. The concept which could be applied here would be screen writing. This movie was adapted from a novel by the same name written by James Siegel published in 2003. One narrative which I do not like is “paranormal activity”. This is an American horror film which is based on a young couple being haunted by a super natural presence. The concept that could be related to this would be the transparent line between fiction and non- fiction. This is because the movie is presented to its audience in a way where it seems like it is real footage of supernatural beings.
Elliot King, Russell Cook, and Mitchell Tropin, “Currents in Communication.” Dubuque, IA 2010. Print