Archive for the ‘narrative’ Category

Enargia Example: President Obama’s Presidential Victory Speech

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Plot Summary: Yes we can- timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Enargia is displayed through President Obama’s victory speech. “Yes we can” was his morale- boosting motto throughout his campaign, and he continued that trend for his victory speech.

A sense of being united among Americans soared as he told Americans to “join the work of remaking this nation…block by block, brick by brick, callused hand by callused hand” because his victory is giving the people and him “the chance for us to make that change.”

The confidence in his voice affirmed he visualized an improved United States over the next four years. The audience felt a personal connection to this idea of togetherness and prosperity when he said:

“So let us summon a new spirit, of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder, and not only look out for ourselves, but each other.”

The audience can see the peaceful intent Obama wants the entire nation to have. When he mentioned the “block by block” statement, everyone felt like they could participate in this movement. Low income families to Bill Gates  are equally important to this idea, because he said:

“Tonight we have proved once more that the strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.”

The audience visualizes an America as a place of prosperity and unlimited opportunities, which is the American dream. The audience may visualize America as being a busy corporation, in the sense that if one person does not do their job, everyone suffers. Moreover, everyone is important, no matter what their rank in authority.

MSNBC. “Barack Obama Victory Speech: Yes We Can – YouTube.” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. MSNBC, 5 Nov. 2008. Web. 09 Dec. 2011.        <;.



Enargia Example: Two 9/11 survivors’ stories

December 9, 2011 1 comment

Plot Summary: A reporter interviews a couple who just evacuated the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Enargia is evident in the story given by this couple who left the World Trade Center by their facial expressions, what they said, and especially because of the thick ash of their clothes. The video opens with the couple getting their first bottle of water to rinse their body. They both pour water over their faces and then spit some out of their mouth. This opening scene tugs at the heart of an American audience. Enargia is present when the viewers hear painful coughing, moaning and heavy breathing. Before the couple talks to the reporter, obviously they are feeling pain, exhaustion, relief, and anxiety.

“We saw a shadow that looked like a plane. Then all of a sudden: boom, boom! The ground started shaking, we saw debris falling down.” -Woman

It is clear to the viewer that they just experienced a tradegy before their own eyes. The viewer can imagine this couple anxiously waiting to get off of the stairs. The audience can see them trying to escape the smoke cloud, unable to see anything. When the man coughs, the listener can hear the pain and ash in his chest.   They can feel relief  when the survivors finally make it  down the stairs to the lobby, and then there is an explosion. All relief is gone, and panic and fear set in.

“I thought we could outrun it [smoke cloud] but we couldn’t. It was pitch black. It was like a comet just hit the earth.” -Man

A comet has never hit the earth, but film directors create an ambiguous idea of what it would be like, in movies. Unlike the movies, there was no warning of this impactful, powerful terrorist attack. The viewer can visualize the panic-stricken atmosphere at the World Trade Center. Especially, since the couple was on the eighty-second floor and made it to the lobby via crowded stairs within approximately fifteen minutes, when the second plane hit.

The reporter is fascinated by the amount of ash on the man’s suit, instilling a mental image of the thick smoke cloud and other debris surrounding the couple. Because the interview happened immediately after the couple got to a safe place, their raw emotions were fresh, giving an emotional depiction of their heart-wrenching story.

WABC-Ch. 7. “WTC Tower Witness 9/11 – YouTube.” News Broadcast. YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. WABC-Ch. 7, 5 July 2011. Web. 08 Dec. 2011. <;.

Kingdom Come

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

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In the Graphic Novel Kingdom Come, the DC Comics’ universe has been projected 20 years into the future, where the violent and gritty style of superheroes then popular in the 90s has taken its logical extreme of gang fighting in the streets, and no real way of telling the heroes from the villains, and the threat of the Superhumans whipping all life from the face of the earth just from existing is a credible scenario.
In the scene we look at, Superman has come back from his self-imposed exile to get the world back on track. He walks into a superhuman bar (no, there is no joke), and asks the resident’s to shape up and join the reformed Justice League, and then leaves. Many of the individuals are impressed by the offer, but some are still not sure.

Then comes the arrow imbedding itself into the column.

It comes from another old superhero, by the name of Green Arrow, who says that it was now time “for the Democratic response.” There is no verbal Apodioxis, only one given through actions. This new generation of “heroes,” and yes the quotes are intentional, is violent and responds better to relentless, merciless justice that they revel in. By using his arrow as a way to get their attention, the Old Hero, Green Arrow, implies that he too thinks of solving problems like they do, and thus understands where they are coming from. This being something that Superman, and the old comic book-style of Superheroics he represents, is said time and again to be incapable of getting. Even though he offers a ‘Democratic response,’ assumedly in as respectful a tone as can be expected, Green Arrow is in affect saying that he doesn’t believe that there is any choice: Only his argument to hear, his team to join, and his rules to follow.

Waid, Mark, and Alex Ross. “Kingdom Come.” Graphic novel. First ed. New York: DC Comics, 2002. 86-87. Print. Elseworlds.

Windmill Paradox – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

December 8, 2011 4 comments

In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time the player is given control of Link, the hero time. Time has already appeared again as an agent of paradox as in past examples. Throughout the adventure Link has been tasked with saving the world by traveling through time. Eventually the player comes to an impasse. An invisible beast has ransacked a town and it is revealed that only a certain artifact can be used to defeat the creature. In order to attain the item the player must go back in time and explore a dungeon beneath the town’s well. However the well is full of water keeping the hero from venturing further. Upon traveling the future Link enters the town’s windmill which houses a strange organ grinder playing a mysterious tune. Upon talking to the man he is furious about an incident that occurred seven years earlier, the time of “young” Link, in which a small boy, dressed similar to the way the player is attired, plays a magical song that causes the windmill to malfunction and drain the well. In his frustration the organ grinder teaches Link the song. Afterward the player returns to the past and plays the song inside the windmill to drain the well and continue on with the adventure. In doing so the player creates a paradoxical loop otherwise known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In a paradoxical loop, or self-fulfilling prophecy, one thing in the chain causes the other and vice versa. In this example the loop hinges on the organ grinder. He hears the song at one point in time and teaches that same song in another. However he would have never heard the song in the first place had he not taught the song to Link in the first place. This causes a paradox. It shouldn’t be possible, but it has happened none-the-less. This adds a layer of mystery to the proceedings. The player is left to wonder who this character, Link, is and how he can manipulate time, achieving the impossible. It is this strong feeling of mystery that draws the player in to eventually finish the story and narrative. This scenario and others like it help to establish this game as a masterpiece of the interactive entertainment medium.

Here is a clip showing the first half of the paradox:


Works Cited:

euphoricnerd, prod. Song of Storms – I MAKE IT RAIN. 2011. Film. <;.

Miyamoto, Shigeru, dir. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Yoichi Yamada, Eiji Aonuma, Yoshiaki Koizumi, dirs. Nintendo. 1998. Video Game.

Categories: narrative, paradox, videogame

“The Needle and the Damage Done”

December 8, 2011 1 comment

Neil Young’s “The Needle and the Damage Done” assesses drug abuse and the impact on others. Young concludes his song with the phrase, “and every junkie’s like a setting sun.” This simile functions as an epiphonema appealing to time and nature. A setting sun symbolizes an ending or conclusion. This metaphor often extends to aging and death. The connection between a setting sun and the perilous lifestyle of a drug addict function to instill a bleak emotion within the audience. Drug addict have plenty of means at their disposal to break their habits, with families and friends often acting as mediator between stages towards sobriety. However, the power of drug and substance abuse regularly prove too much for an individual to desire help or support. Thus, the inevitability of a setting sun further illustrates the difficulty of preventing harm to the individual and those around them. Young’s epiphonema effectively coveys the stifling and potentially deadly character of substance abuse through an apt simile.

Young, Neil. “The Needle and the Damage Done.” Harvest. Reprise Records, 1971. Mp3.>

Nineteen Eighty-Four

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Increasingly relevant in contemporary society, George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four explores Winston Smith’s attempt in rebelling against a totalitarian government and society. Ending with the epiphonema, “he had won victory over himself. He loved Big Brother,” ironically informs the reader of the totality Winston’s breakdown. Succumbing to the oppressive control exerted by the government, Big Brother, over its’ citizens, Winston’s love marks a dark failure. With the government overtly subduing Winston, his victory over himself is actually a bleak defeat and warning to humanity.  Love indicates the most powerful affection capable by individuals. By instilling love within Winston for his government and its negative associations, Big Brother effectively kills Winston within the mind of the reader. The warm feelings connected with victory and love function to disturb the reader with the power a totalitarian authority possesses over an individual.

Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. London: Secker and Warburg, 1949. Print.

Indignatio: Louis C.K. – “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy”

December 7, 2011 1 comment

Comedian Louis C.K. begins this bit by remembering what technology was like when he was growing up and observes the leaps in progress and how people act entitled to a fault. C.K. targets “the crappiest generation”, people who demand more and more from the “miracles” of modern society and technology. He uses narratives of “non-contributing zero[es]” complaining about technology (cell phones) and societal institutions (Air travel) to evoke a sense of anger at them, as well as to foster commiseration with the audience at the annoyance of hearing someone complain so frivolously. He addresses anyone who benefits from modern innovation in an attempt raise the audience’s awareness of how easy and miraculous modern life actually is. He uses strong language and straight-forward terms to express how displeased with the entitlement of modern people, thereby evoking the indignation of the audience and attempting to turn them against the selfishness he perceives in the current generation.

C.K., Louis. Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy Conan O’Brien. 18 August 2011. Television.
N.B. this interview is adapted from a segment of Louis’s stand-up routine, Hilarious, which is pretty vulgar. You can watch it here

Categories: humor, indignatio, narrative, speech