Textual Analysis of the Movie Grease Using Narrative Paradigm

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  • Topic: Grease, John Travolta, Grease 2
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  • Published : May 13, 2013
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Textual Analysis of the Movie Grease Using Narrative Paradigm

THE THEORY

Walter Fisher was the founder of the narrative paradigm. (1984) He stated that through the narrative paradigm, men would have an alternative approach to understand how human beings acted. In the narrative worldview, humans were considered as “storytellers” and human communications were regarded as “stories”. According to Fisher, stories that were made of good reasons were the “communication expression of social reality” (1984). Furthermore, Fisher explained that men decoded the truthfulness of a story or human discourse based on its narrative probability and narrative fidelity. Narrative coherence gauged the story structure whether it went well together or not. Moreover, individuals evaluated the coherence of a story based on what he thought the structure of the story should be. Its plotline was consistent, the characters’ role and action coincided, indispensable details were not left out, and no unrealistic events or unexplained surprises were expressed (Griffin, 2011). On the other hand, individuals looked into a story’s narrative fidelity through the soundness and truthfulness of a story. People determined the values rooted in the story and evaluated whether the morals were apt to the story or not. They also compared the values with their own and discerned the impact it had on their selves and on others. Furthermore, the audience also studied if the values embedded in the story were transcendent. (Fisher, 1985)

THE CASE
For this study, the researcher used content (textual) analysis of a film text called, Grease. Using Walter Fisher’s narrative paradigm, the researcher evaluated the movie based on its narrative coherence and fidelity. To further validate the coherence of the movie, the researcher looked into the consistency of the plot, the characters and their behavior, the completeness of details and the flow of events. The researchers also drew out the values that were embedded in the movie and observed if it was at par with the audience’s values.

Grease is the word
Grease was originally a musical in Broadway back in 1972 and was adapted into a film in 1978. During its time, it was one of the most popular movies and had the most popular icons such as Danny Zuko (played by John Travolta) and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John). Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, writers of Grease, were inspired by the late 1950s-60s youth, music and ideologies. They wanted to veer away from the typical musical Broadway shows of their time and succeeded. Many people saw Grease as countercultural, since it was inspired by the late 1950s and 1960s where countercultural movement started. Moreover, Grease presented the youth with values and lifestyles that opposed to the established culture.

The storyline revolved around a group of teenagers back in 1959 that lived in California, with Danny and Sandy as the main characters. Danny and Sandy met during summer, had a fling and thought they would never see each other again. What both of them did not know was that they are now studying at the same school. Danny was a “greaser” and the leader of the gang called the “T-Birds”. Sandy, on the other hand, was a newcomer from Australia. She did not have a hard time making friends because she was accepted immediately by the “Pink Ladies”. When Sandy and Danny first met in Rydell High (their school), Sandy started to see a change in Danny’s attitude. However, as the film comes to an end, Danny changes back into the loving and sweet Danny that Sandy met during the summer. Also, all throughout the film there would be song and dance numbers that greatly represented the late 1950-60s and its youth. Basically, Grease was the inspiration of movies such as High School Musical, because it captured different cliques or stereotypes that are still applicable today.

APPLICATION OF THE THEORY TO THE CASE
Grease was a musical written and adapted into a film in the 1970s. However,...
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