Propp

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Fairy Tales
Proppian Analysis
How to Do a Proppian Analysis
•Read through the whole story before you start
analyzing it. Don’t try to figure it out as you read the
first time: that is the kind of reading that leads to the
kind of misidentifications we were describing above.
•Identify the dramatis personae
•Look for the harm(s) or lack(s) in the story
•Identify the preparatory section(s), which are the
parts(s) of the story that come before the lack(s) or
harm(s).
•Fill in the appropriate functions in each part of the
story, to correspond to the spheres of influence of
the dramatis personae.
Proppian Functions
a
b
g
d
e
z
h
q
initial situation
absentation
interdiction
violation
reconnaissance
delivery
trickery
complicity
Proppian Functions, 2
A or a
villainy or lack
B
mediation, the connective incident
C
beginning counteraction
departure
D
hero is tested by donor
E
the hero's reaction
F
provision or receipt of magical agent
G
spatial transference between two
kingdoms
Proppian Functions, 3
H
direct combat of hero & villain
J
branding, marking
I
villain defeated
K
initial misfortune or lack
liquidated
return
Pr pursuit
Rs rescue
Proppian Functions, 4
o
L
M
N
Q
Ex
T
U
W
unrecognized arrival
unfounded claims of false hero
difficult task
solution of task
recognition of hero
exposure of false hero
transfiguration of hero
punishment of villain
wedding
Wizard of Oz-- Background
Writers:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Herman J. Mankiewitz: Kansas scene, sweet Dorothy
Ogden Nash
Noel Langley: parallel Kansas scene and Oz story, fairy tale
characters, mean Auntie Em
Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf: increased menace of the
witch, added emotion, Professor Marvel sequence
Langley again
Yip Harburg, lyricist, blended Langley, Ryerson and Woolf
Jack Mintz: jokes
Sid Silvers
John Lee Mahin, friend of Victor Fleming, who directed the Kansas
segment
Wizard of Oz– Background 2
Four Directors:
Richard Thorpe (2 weeks)
George Cukor: (3 days) got JG to look less
artificial
Victor Fleming: (4 months)Kansas scene
King Vidor: (10 days) "Over the Rainbow" with
JG walking
Actors:
Created their characters out of their vaudeville
personalities, etc.
Wizard of Oz– L. Frank Baum
Dorothy in Kansas, an orphan
Cyclone
A wonderful world out the window
Dorothy sets out to the city of Emeralds
Scarecrow, Woodsman and Lion
Wizard of Oz– L. Frank Baum
2
Series of adventures:
Kalidahs: bodies like bears, heads like tigers
Cross the river on a raft but the Scarecrow is stranded;
Poppies: queen of the field mice saves the Lion
Emerald City: the GuardTask: kill the witch
WWW sends pests after them, but they defeat them
Witch melts, the Winkies are set free
Wizard unmasked as a humbug, flies off
The four set off to see Glinda, the witch of the South, to
get help for Dorothy to go home.
Wizard of Oz– L. Frank Baum
3
Task: kill the witch
WWW sends pests after them, but they
defeat them
Witch melts, the Winkies are set free
Wizard unmasked as a humbug, flies off
The four set off to see Glinda, the witch of
the South, to get help for Dorothy to go
home.
Wizard of Oz– L. Frank Baum
4
Obstacles:
The trees of the forest bend to stop them .
A land of small china people.
A large spiderlike creature. The Lion kills it.
The Hammerheads who have no arms but who
attack them by butting them with their
heads.
Country of the Quadlings.
Dorothy goes home and is happy.
Wizard of Oz– Movie
Kansas Professor Marvel.
Farmhands,
Miss
Gulch
Oz
The Wizard, Scarecrow, Tin
Woodsman, Cowardly Lion
Villain: WWW
Difficult Task: Bring Back the Broom
The Return: No Place Like Home
Wizard of Oz
In Kansas:
abgdezhq
aBC (Dorothy runs away)
Marvel)
G (to Oz) HIJK (Witch)
DEF (Prof.
In Oz:
ABC DEF DEF DEF Pr Rs o L MN Q Ex
TU W
Goose Girl
abgde (reconnaissance of servant girl) hql
a (loss of status) o L
MN (with the help of Falada & wind)
Q T Ex U W
Jungian analysis highlights the various
shadows and animuses the Goose Girl
has
The nature-culture opposition is
important in this one.
Faithful John
abg(don't look at picture)dq
a (lack of princess) BC GK W
A (the curses) MN MN MN K
A (John a statue) MN (saving John) K Q W
Story shows a shift in the last part from John
as hero to prince as hero. What do you think
that means?
The nature-culture opposition in this one is
also important. Jung works too.
Raven
agq (she becomes a raven)
ABC DDD a (new lack)
aBC DEF G (giant transports)
DEFG o MN Q TW
Here, the hero fails in his encounters with the
witch-donor. Thus he experiences a new lack
and must set out again. What would Jung tell
us about this? Why does he have better luck
with the second donor?
Brother and sister.
Move 1:
abezhgdql
a (lack of a kind home) Pr Rs K
Move 2:
Ezhq
A (queen is dead) LQExUW
This is really two separate stories. Jung would
note that you could look at it two ways.
Frog Prince, 1
Girl as victim:
a
b goes to well
e frog asks what's wrong
z girl tell
h trickery
q submission
A frog comes to castle
MN MN MN W
Frog Prince, 2
Frog as hero:
aDEFGoMNQW
This story can be looked at from two
points of view: the girl's and the frog's.
Rumpelstiltskin
abezhgdq
A (father's claims) MN MN MN K
A (being in power of R) L MN Ex U W
A story in which the initial situation
matters much for the first movement.
Aschenputtel
abezhql
A (put to work) MN MN o L Ex Q UW
Cupid and Psyche
ab
g by Cupid
e reconnaissance by sisters
zqh
a Psyche driven out BC (kill self)
Cupid and Psyche, 2
DEF (Pan)
DEF (Ceres)
DEF (Juno)
DEF (Venus and Mercury)
Cupid and Psyche, 3
MN (sort grain)
MN (fleece)
MN (Styx waters)
MN (underworld)
W
The trick to this one is noticing that a
great deal of it is initial situation.
Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone
Curiosity is natural to the soul of man, and interesting
objects have a powerful influence on our affections. Let
these influencing powers actuate, by the permission or
disposal of Providence, from selfish or social views, yet in
time the mysterious will of heaven is unfolded, and we
behold our own conduct, from whatever motives excited,
operating to answer the important designs of heaven. Thus
we behold Kentucke, lately an howling wilderness, . . .
rising from obscurity to shine with splendor, equal to any
other of the stars of the American hemisphere.
Boone as a Hunter-Husbandman
•
Filson's portrayal of Boone as a hunter-husbandman is
accurate as far as it goes, but it falls short of depicting
Boone's real attitude toward farming. Although Boone did
stake out and work at subsistence farming in the manner of
the physiocratic yeoman, he never did fit into the yeoman's
mold.
•
He was primarily a hunter and trapper, who cleared
only as much of his land as was needed for kitchen crops
and a little salable tobacco to keep his family fed during
his long absences.
Rebecca Boone, Fire-Hunt Legend
After a long wait Boone saw the double gleam and
prepared to fire, but some intuition stayed him.
The fire-hunt legend was well known to the Boones
themselves, and they often repeated it to their children
(who refused to believe it). Yet this legend and others
which show Boone as the wild, lonely hunter were
neglected or omitted by Filson.
Filson wished to retain the idea that Boone's hunting trips
initiated him into a deep intimacy with the powers of
nature and that the health of his spirit was essential to the
realization of nature's plan for the Kentucky land.
Rebecca Boone, 2
In life a strong and intelligent woman, she stood
almost as tall as Daniel Boone, who himself was
over the average in height. It was she who held
their large family together while he vanished on
long hunts, which might last a season or a couple
of years….
Filson all but eliminates Rebecca Boone from his
account. She appears only as "my wife," never by
name, and no attention is paid to her considerable
accomplishments as provider and protector.
The American Monomyth by
Jewett and Lawrence
“Despite the bubble-gum fallacy and the
myth of mythlessness, pop-culture artifacts
like Star Trek are developing visions of life
and destiny capable of evoking powerful
loyalties in at least some audience
members.”
The American Monomyth by
Jewett and Lawrence, 2
Characteristics of Star Trek:
Saga
The Background Is Subordinate to the Fable.
Sexual Renunciation
Redemption
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