Narrative Rhetoric

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Allison Hoover
Chapter 5 notes
I. Formal Components of Narrative Rhetoric
II. In narrative rhetoric a story is told to make a point. In some cases the entire work of rhetoric is a story and the main point is implied. In other instances, the rhetor may use a number of small stories to make a point. In still other instances, the rhetor may refer to, but not tell in any detail, a widely known story. This type of narrative is somewhat similar to enthymematic argument and is used most often in reference to the dominant stories in an organization or society. III. What makes up a narrative? Narrative rhetoric is defined by four components i. Plot

a. The plot is the story line. It is what happens in the tale. While there are many possible types of plots, it is important to recognize that principles of plot development demand that a story be introduced by some sort of scene that sets the stage for the plot that follows. b. Ultimately, a point of greatest conflict or tension is reached (the climax), and the conflict or tension is resolved. This is followed by a return to normalcy. c. Implicit or explicit conclusions

1. Moral of the story
d. The logic of telling a good story required that the point of greatest conflict must come near the end. Crucially, the pattern of rising action, which I have described, is generally present, not because life always works that way, but because3 that pattern works best to gradually increase tension and excitement in the audience over time. e. It is important to note at this point that what makes a good plot is not necessarily what makes a true story. ii. Scene

a. This is the place/time where the story occurs. This scene can be literally anywhere. b. They key to understanding scene from the perspective of rhetoric is to consider the “work” that the scene does in carrying forward the message of the story. c. One of the reasons narrative rhetoric is so important is that it can transport the...
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