folklore essay

folklore essay - Virani 1 Sofia Virani ARLT 100 Dr....

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Virani 1 Sofia Virani ARLT 100 Dr. Thompson 8 November 2007 Star Wars : A Folktale? Vladimir Propp is a structuralist meaning that he analyzes folktales looking at the structure of the stories. After looking at many folk stories, he found that the structure is almost always the same, with 31 essential elements. While all of these elements aren’t in all stories, there is always a good amount of them and they are always in the same order. This is not only true in folktales. Looking at Star Wars Episode IV-VI , I found that many of these elements showed up in the story and that Propp’s 31 essential elements can fit with many stories outside of the folklore realm. Through a Proppian analysis, I will show how accurate his elements are in describing the flow of stories. According to Propp, one of the first things to happen in a story is that an interdiction is addressed to the hero. In Star Wars, Luke finds out about Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Jedi Knight, from R2-D2, a droid that he bought that had a message from Princess Leia. He asks his uncle about Obi-Wan and in order to keep Luke from going out in search of him, his uncle tells him that he’s dead and that he should forget about him. While this isn’t a straight interdiction, it is still a way to stop the hero from going forward and starting his journey. But then, Luke goes out and finds Obi-Wan Kenobi anyways and learns all about the Jedi Knights therefore violating Uncle Ben’s interdiction. Breaking the interdiction is important because it is the act that gets the action in the story going and is the reason that Luke meets Han Solo, Princess Leia and
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Virani 2 becomes a Jedi Knight. Keeping with the order of Propp’s 31 essential elements, the villain receives information about his victim. Darth Vader and the Empire want to destroy the droid that Luke bought because the droid has plans in it that could destroy Vader’s empire. So Vader finds out where the droid is and blows up Luke’s house trying to demolish it. This leads to a following element, that there is harm or injury to the hero’s family. Luke’s aunt and uncle were in the house when it was blown up and so they were killed. And because they were killed, this creates Luke’s lack. He already lacked a dad and mom but he still had a family with his aunt and uncle. Now Luke lacks a family and anything to be
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course ARLT 100g taught by Professor 02:00-03:20pm during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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folklore essay - Virani 1 Sofia Virani ARLT 100 Dr....

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