ENGB03: Critical Thinking About Narrative
Lecture One – January 13th
• What makes a narrative?
○ Communicating a story, narrative is a description of an event
○ How we come to understand events, ourselves, other people, our world
○ How we remember the past, imagine the future
○ Narratives give shape to our lives, and they are given shape by our lives
• Is there something about humanity that is best expressed through storytelling?
○ Narrative is not only an art form, it is our way of communication
○ To tell a story is to create a world (can seem close or far from our world)
Close: gossip, far: Harry Potter
○ Narratives create worlds both implicitly and explicitly – implies how to understand the context, mindset,
○ We become aware of how the storyworld is created, but also aware of ourselves filling in the gaps
○ We can think of the storyworld as a representation of the world
• Key themes:
○ Narrative and Reality
Organizing reality – create a time frame “story” and “narrative discourse”
We know time has elapsed when something has changed
Stories that try to influence us – can we believe them?
EX: Story – falling down the stairs (See lecture slides); narrative discourse – how story is told
The way a story is told directly influences how we understand it
○ Narrative and Identity
Narrative can develop a sense of self, cultural identity, and personal identity
Canada’s group identity – freedom of spee