Narrative and Narration Essay-1533 Words - Essay Prowess

Narrative and Narration Essay-1533 Words


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Narrative and narration


A narrative can be described as a set of corresponding events representing a cause and effect correlation in a given time and space as presented in a movie or film. On the other hand, a narration can be described as the procedure through which a movie can tend to withhold or otherwise relay the information within a narrative that is, how the story is told. This essay seeks to discuss the narrative and narration in three films, Andy Warhol’s memoir: “POPism: The Warhol Sixties”; Anderson’s film: “Magnolia”(1999); and Schlesinger’s film: “Midnight Cowboy” (1969). This will also discuss the accounts of style exhibited in the three productions.

Andy Warhol’s memoir: “POPism: The Warhol Sixties”

The Narrative

This narrative is an insightful and in-depth account of the 60’s decade in America (Warhol & Hackett, 2006). The authors seem to have gone to great lengths to offer their audiences a vivid description of the lifestyles prevalent at the time. They have incorporated ethos more so as propagated by Andy Warhol himself to convey feelings that are reminiscent of the social atmosphere of the 60’s. A social atmosphere generating an aura of countless possibilities that seems to have abound throughout the sixties. As such, the book invokes such an imagination that opportunities were in abundance whereby dedication to work with a touch of luck and anything and everything was simply at arm’s reach.

As much as the narrative has a co-author by the name Harcourt, little of her is exhibited in it as it presents Andy Warhol’s perception on the POP culture dominating the 60’s decade in America (Warhol & Hackett, 2006). As such its entire narration is in first person throughout the seven sections defining different periods of that decade.

The narration

This narrative offers a narration relaying messages encapsulated in deeds as opposed to the common styles which relay an author’s thoughts (Singh, 2007). More so, this contrast is exposed vividly in the photos provided within the narrative. One cannot help but seriously take the author’s input into the writing of this narrative. However, contrast as a literally style is rife in this narrative as one also perceives a comic relief in the narration while perusing through the fruits of Warhol’s preaching.

The narration describes POPISM as a period where “one could do anything” in page 169 (Warhol & Hackett, 2006). However the author employs contrast in his literally style such that POPISM in itself tended to hide the real situation in the 60’s American society where the rich and the socially disadvantaged tended to consume similar products. For instance, during the 60’s the rich and the poor both enjoyed a can of Coke a Cola, in Warhol’s own words, the sixties POP culture only depicted “the surface things” page 235 (Warhol & Hackett, 2006).


This narrative is indeed some sort of literally museum as the narration takes the reader through a journey through the American sixties providing one with a sense of understanding as to how POPISM played a role in shaping the society that we live in today. The narration offers transparent and honest insights into the POP culture through the eyes of the very individual attributed with its rise.

Anderson’s film: “Magnolia”(1999)

The narrative

This narrative written and directed by P. T. Anderson in 1999 offers a morally invasive narration of a combination of different and seemingly intertwined stories set in the city of Los Angeles California (Maslin, 1999). The main theme in this narrative revolves around the thorny issue of cruelty towards children and how it comes to bite people who engage in such actions later on in their lives. The director seeks to enable his audiences explore through a number of smaller narratives within the narrative “Magnolia” in an effort to seek forgiveness for past actions.

This narrative provides the major narration as revolving around the life of Jason Robards, a dying man, his long lost son, Frank Mackey, Frank’s stunningly beautiful wife and a caretaker (Revill, 1999). Another narrative that features herein is the story of a man identifies as Hall, the host to a television game show and a gifted boy identified as Jeremy Blackman. Another mini narrative in the story revolves around the relationship between a police officer and Hall’s daughter identified as Melora Walters. The narrative offers a narration that bind all the subplots into the main plot of the narrative in a literally style that employs confidences and various opportunities which people take advantage of. This goes on to define the lives these people lead.

The narration

The narration employs morally offensive techniques to relay the message of forgiveness as past life actions go on to present consequences in their present day life leading to guilt while the oppressed call for justice (Revill, 1999). In the first part of the narrative that is about an hour long is narrated in a language abound with adult content more so with some scenes relaying sexual interactions. Frank employs vulgar language heavily as he is a product of a morally awkward family life.

Despite the moral decay projected in the first part of the narration, this however tones down as the narrative comes to a close (Revill, 1999). Jim, the police officer stands out as giving the morally upright view of a rather overly immoral society. Not only does he seek to propagate social justice in the society, he is also a religious person of the Christian faith. Jim seeks love and as such does so by calling against a social plague hurting the people close to him and more so seeks love from a personal perspective from Miss Walters.


The message relayed in this narrative is forgiveness and thus the need for Anderson to first provide a narration as to why the different characters all need forgiveness from each other. He provides myriads of possibilities through which people hurt one another knowingly and unknowingly and more so provides the fact that these actions leave emotional scars.

Schlesinger’s film: “Midnight Cowboy” (1969)


This narrative provides a lot of adult content from an ultra realist’s point of view narrating an unlikely friendship as well as an emotionally tragic drama revolving around the lives of two drifters who are not only flat broke but also homeless. These two characters Enricco Rizzo and Joe Buck are bonded to one another by the fact that they share similar life challenges and seek similar goals realising the American dream ( 2014). The director is based on the literary work of James Leo Herlihy also titled Midnight Cowboy.

The narrative

The narrative basically revolves about the life of a young man referred to as Joe Buck who opts to move away from his small hometown of Texas to try and make it big in the metropolitan city of New York (Revill, 1999). The theme relayed in this narrative revolves around the fact that life in the US is not as rosy as many individuals tend to think it is. The director, John Schlesinger employs realism heavily as his basic literally style in exhibiting that for a new comer in big cities, making it big is just but a mirage.

The narration

The theme of the narrative is repetitively exhibited in the narration where the main actor, Joe Buck aims to start life afresh in the large city of New York where he believes opportunities are greater as compared to this small home town back in Texas (Revill, 1999). Rasto on the other hand does the same in a more redefining manner even going ahead to change his name to signify starting life all over again (Columb, 2011). The main question projected throughout the narration that hangs over these two drifters is are they time barred? The narration depicts a seemingly unending cycle of poverty. This leads the two characters to have a high degree of resentment to those around them who seem to go on with their life oblivious of the suffering of those less fortunate in society “Ratso: Behind your back, I’ve seen ’em laughin’ at you, fella”.


Rasto goes on to perceive that no one even his buddy Joe can enable him to come out of hiss gutter of a life situation (Revill, 1999). Tragedy deems to follow him all the way. This leads the poor Buck to attempt to uplift his friend Rasto in the best way that he can. Rasto has physical limitations that make him the most unfortunate of the unfortunate. He however has hope. This movie is a deep insight to the challenges that were face and may be still faced by people in countries where all seem rosy at the top but is rotten in the middle. Rasto only way out of his life problems is death. A tragic end to an amazing story of poverty and the hope of attaining the American dream remains just as a mirage in the desert.


Anderson, P. T. (1999). Magnolia. Retrieved on June 10, 2014 from

Columb, S. (2011). Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger, 1969). Retrieved on June 10, 2014 (1969).Midnight Cowboy (1969). Retrieved on June 10, 2014 from

Maslin, J. (1999). Magnolia (1999), Film Review; Entangled Lives on the Cusp of the Millennium.

Revill, D. (1999). Magnolia. Retrieved on June 10, 2014 from

Singh, A. 2007. Review – POPism. Retrieved on June 10, 2014 from

Warhol, A & Hackett, P. (2006). POPism: The Warhol Sixties. San Francisco: Harcourt.