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Narratives

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Narratives are the ways and means by which a person perceives, interprets and relates to a story-telling session. Story telling is one of the few activities in the family and community setting that has a rich and domineering history (Hearne 2009). For a long time, stories and narratives have been used for a whole range of reasons. Most notably, they have been used to improve people’s thinking, interpretation and analytical skills. Stories and narratives have also been shown to upgrade a person’s imaginative and creative aspects. The most crucial aspect of storytelling and narration has to be language, its use and evolution over time.

In the recent past, the concept of language has been increasingly taking a completely new shape. Its development over the past few centuries has been phenomenal in enhancing and improving communication with equal measure (Hearne 2009). This growth and development is attributable to four main factors, namely, anthropology, psychoanalysis, linguistics and Marxism.

The onset of Marxism and Freudianism was the hallmark of a different era of language use and form. During this period, language and language use witnessed a massive change in the field (Ochs 2001). Since then, not much change has occurred with regard to growth and development of languages. One of the aspects of change that came with the onslaught of Marxism and Freudianism is the relation between the writer, the critic and the reader. Together with Structuralism, the onset of these three brought into the picture some level of relativity between these three factors. However, today a new object has emerged, that of the text.

The text is by and largely different from work. It is considered a methodological field in its own right. On the other hand, work is considered a part of a substance occupying a space, such as a section of a book. Further, work is viewed as something worth being presented whereas text as something worth putting into practice. In this light, work is likened to reality, which is interpreted as a phenomenon, which can be portrayed. On the contrary, “text” is compared to real, and can be demonstrated unlike reality, which can only be portrayed.

One other difference between work and text highlighted as to do with tangibility. Work is measured as a hand held entity. It is more related with tangibility. On the other hand, text is considered a language held entity. It is also highlighted that work stems from text and not the other way round.

Text can neither be classified nor categorized. It cannot be contained within a given hierarchy and therefore cannot be separated as distinct. On the other hand, work can be classified as good or bad (Hearne 2009).

Text is taken to be a sign, whereas work is the signified. In this context, text is seen as dominant over work. Further, work is presumed to be mildly symbolic whereas text is viewed as being radically symbolic.

The text is plural. This means that it gives the best definition to the plural of a meaning. It gives many versions to a single meaning. It is not a co-existence of meanings but rather an overcrossing. It is likened to the man in the Bible who laid claim to the assertion that he was legend (to mean many in one). In addition, work is portrayed as person’s work and thus has copyright, which is legally binding. On the other hand, text has no copyright thus has no legal implications.

The author of a text is more often than not inscribed in the text so that separation of the two is almost impossible while in a piece of work, the author is set apart from the work and has some form of control over it. Work is an object of consumption and is devoid of alternatives. On the contrary, text incorporates more including play, practice and activity.

Work provides limited pleasure especially due to the ownership and rights implications that come with it. Text, on the other hand, presents an opportunity for unlimited pleasure.

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