narrative analysis of a media text

This is a narrative analysis on episode three, season two of the television series Teen Wolf. It is a series about a teenage boy who gets bitten by a werewolf and becomes a werewolf himself,  he soon realizes that he has entered another world- a world of danger but he manages to survives on a daily basis with the help of his friends. I chose to analyze this media text because it is one of my favorite TV series and I thought it will be interesting to break it down. I will analyze this text using codes: the technical code, verbal code, symbolic code, structure, characters and narrative conflict.

Technical Code

In this text technical code has been used in such a way that does not subtract from the text but create visual Interest, for example camera shake is used to create kinetic energy: when Derek steal a girl from the hospital (11:14), the shot is a close up on the wheels of the hospital bed and the camera shake shows movement and also the urgency of not being seen or caught.

A lot of zoom is use in the text and is mainly used for two things: to draw us into something, whether it is to a character to show us emotion or to something to show us detail and secondly it is used to take us out or show location but there is a part (14:58) where zooming out was for both reason to show us emotion, to make us feel for Lydia and to portray just how frightened she is from the way she is standing and the same zoom out is used to express the feeling of having Jackson walking away from her. I love how the use tilt and slow motion to show the transformation on Erika (18:18), they tilt from bottom to top_ the first thing we see  are leopard print high heels, up her long legs, to her leather short skirt and jacket, this technic is successful we immediately see the transformation because Erika was epileptic so she could not wear heel or short skirts, so the tilt really emphasizes the change_ also because her medication gave her acne she was always in the shadows  but the slow motion suggest that she has find confidence, the slow motion also create some sense of mystery and that works because it leaves the viewer wondering about the new found confidence( only to later find that she has been turned into a werewolf and is healed. Pan though is only used to lead the viewer to what is going to happen. Camera angle is also used in a very pleasing way; if not a close up the main character is almost shown from a low view point.

Verbal Code

The language that is used here is very simple; I guess it is because the whole story is based on teenagers. It is just simple American English. Sometime there is use of riddle, puns and encrypted texts  and that is understandable because the world of the werewolves is secrete so the language need not be simple all the time but must with filled with double meaning and mind trickery.

Symbolic Code

There isn’t much symbolism used in this text but there is one that stands out for me_ after her dramatic entrance (slow motion and all) Erika walks to a random table and grabs an apple and has a bite, this could suggest two things, one: the fact that she is a werewolf now and can bite(literally) and also it could have a biblical symbolism of her eating the forbidden fruit, because being a werewolf is not a norm. Another thing I almost forgot is that by biting on the apple is another way of saying she got the bite (the bite that turned her).

Structure

The structure of the episode is that it begins with everything normal, students in the gym class everything is kind of normal; Erika is still sick, Boyed is still human and Derek hasn’t turned any teenager into a werewolf, but then things turn upside down when Erika gets sick in gym and that is when Derek gets his chance to convince her and Boyed to become werewolves. Scott who is the main character and the “hero” tries stopping Derek and also tries to convince both Erika and Boyed that they do not need to be werewolves. He fails in stopping them from accepting the bite but does succeed in showing Boyed that he doesn’t have to be a big bad wolf but gives him someone to look up to

Characters

Protagonist: Scott McCall is the protagonist in the series, he is the main character. He is a werewolf, the first teen to have been bitten and now he feels like he has to protect everyone from the supernatural world especially Allison his girlfriend. If he can’t stop you from becoming a werewolf he tries to help you to be “a good wolf” one that does not kill.

In this episode Derek is the antagonist because he goes around changing teens to werewolves just to make him powerful, he is power hungry.

Allison is the heroin, she is the hero’s girlfriend and he would do anything to protect her but the twist is that she is the daughter of a werewolf hunter and is being trained to become one.

Allison’s father is the authority figure, even though he is a werewolf hunter he has spared Scott in a condition that he doesn’t harm or kill anyone, stay away from his daughter and keep check on Derek.

The helper is Stiles, Scott’s best friend he is human but helps Scott with everything_ from tying him up on full moon nights to stopping Derek_ he is the brains in the series.

The donor and mentor comes in one package, it is Scott’s boss, he is a vet but knows about the super natural creatures as much and sometimes more than the creatures themselves.

Narrative Conflict

The narrative of the episode is between bad and good_ what is right and wrong. The hunger for power that Derek has leads him into wanting to turn every socially awkward, outsider teenager he sees. The conflict starts because Scott tries to stop him and tries to show him that things need not be this way but because Derek is seeking to be Alpha of the month he is just too stubborn to see that he is wrong.

In conclusion analyzing this text was really interesting for me because when we watch something we take for granted all the thought, the planning and the work that went into the production. Also it taught me that we can learn from any media text whether it was meant for education or purely entertainment like this one I have been analyzing.