Understanding ‘frame narrative’ and how it works as a literary device.

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A still from the 2013 film The Great Gatsby.
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A still from the 2013 film the great Gatsby.
| Photo credit: AP

If Vyasa, Chaucer, Joseph Conrad, Scott F. Fitzgerald and his engaging storytellers Jatakas And One thousand and one nights. He wanted to mess around in his afterlife, sure to illuminate his choice of frame narrative in the creation of his masterpieces that span centuries and counting. Across cultures and genres, and from ancient to modern, the frame narrative, or frame story, is a favorite form of storytelling that has never gone out of fashion. The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms defines frame narrative as “a story in which another story is enclosed or embedded as a ‘story within a story’, or which contains several such stories.”

A story within a story

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This type of formulation is not only done in literature. fans of The usual suspectsA popular noir mystery from 1995, it will be remembered how conman Roger Knut, one of two survivors of a bloodied and shot-up shipwreck, goes back and forth during his investigation as he narrates the events and unravels the underworld of the crime. goes The tight, gritty script by Christopher McQuarrie teases the audience with story-to-story style, even revealing who Mafia lord Kaiser Sue is. This is just one example of the use of frame narrative in film.

But why do writers let one character tell the story instead of using their own voice to do the heavy lifting? In the creation process, some characters take on a life of their own, growing out of the bailiwick set up by the author. So, by using another voice, is the author trying to rein in conflicting characters, set terms, and bring the plot back to the original? Or that basic narrative can help the writer understand complex characters and ideas for the reader. The author may even have his fictional alter ego as the devil’s advocate who presents arguments just for his cause. The possibilities seem endless.

Thus, frame narrative is a literary device to convey the plot to the audience. I Poetry, Aristotle says that the plot is the first principle and the soul of tragedy, and that they are either simple or complex, for the actions in real life, of which the plot is an analogy, would obviously show a similar difference. are Even in this age, when plot has lost its essentiality to fiction, narrative rides on literary devices. For example, a character in a story goes into a non-linear stream of consciousness, without a plot, which is a storytelling device.

Examples of frame narratives.

Easily used in books and movies alike, the frame narrative has stood the test of time. I the great Gatsby, Fitzgerald lets bond salesman Nick Carraway tell the story of the inimitable bootlegger Jay Gatsby. He is the first-person narrator, revealing Gatsby’s story to his lost love, Daisy, in a golden age marred by corruption. Nick takes us through the lives and tragedies of Daisy, her husband, Tom Buchanan, and her mistress, Myrtle Wilson, during the Long Island Jazz Age.

Then we have Bertie Wooster and the Jews. How much yarn does PG Wodehouse spin with this gentleman and his servant? The two characters and their light-hearted engagement generated a lot of laughs.

Legend has it that Vyasa did not write the Mahabharata. It was Ganesha who wrote the epic for Baba. The war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas is decided by this transaction between the sage and the god. Thonchathu Ramanujan describes Izhothachan. Adhithama Ramayanam In Malayalam as a Klepto, or the parrot’s song. Each chapter begins with the parrot calling and Rama singing to him.

Geoffrey Chaucer, i The Canterbury Tales, uses the pilgrimage of 30 people to Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury as a framing device. Everyone has a story to tell during the journey and everyone is a story in themselves, as they are from different walks of life, professions and perspectives. The large frame story leads the reader to many more stories. In Conrad Heart of Darkness, the despondent Marlowe recounts these horrors after going to Africa in a spirit of adventure. I One thousand and one nights.This frame is of Sherzadeh who tells her husband Shah Shehryar a story every night. Some of the stories themselves are set in other frames. All fun Jatak story The Buddha’s life and his frame of compassion and tolerance.

Returning to the silver screen, the popular multilingual film of 2018 Mahanti Produced from the perspective of a journalist and a photographer, it unravels the life of yesteryear actress Savitri, her rise to fame, relationship with Gemini Gunashan and fall from grace.

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