Using Todorov and Propp


Todorov and Propp can be used to analyse the narrative of a given text.

Todorov uses the principle that every text has a situation, disruption and a resolution. Propp uses narrative functions and states that every text will have a hero, villain and victim. These however do not have to be characters.

For example, if you apply Todorov and Propp to Titanic you see that the:

  • Situation is that everyone is on the Titanic cruise
  • Disruption is the sinking ship
  • Resolution is that some of the passengers survive
  • Hero is the lifeboats
  • Villain is the Iceberg
  • Victims are the passengers

Titanic is based on true events but if you look at the romantic story line of the film you see that Jack is the hero because he saves Rose, who is therefore the victim while Caledon is the villain who tries to come between Jack and Rose’s relationship.


  • Attractive male
  • Working Class

                                                                                              >> This portrays that being a higher social class doesn’t make you a better person, it in fact probably makes you a                                                                                                      worse person; the hero of the film is from a low social class.


  • Sly
  • Coward
  • Upperclass

Todorov and Propp can also be applied to advertisements such as this Maybelline foundation  advert:

Here we can see that the:

  • Situation is daily life
  • Disruption is having ‘bad’ skin
  • Resolution is having the appearance of good skin
  • Hero is the product
  • Villain is the skin
  • Victim is young women

Another example is this Bold Washing Powder advert:

In this the:

  • Situation is Fixing his car
  • Disruption is having dirty clothes
  • Resolution is getting clean clothes
  •  Hero is the Bold washing powder
  • Villain is the dirt
  • Victim is the boy

Helper: Helps the hero


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One Response to “Using Todorov and Propp”

  1. To heroes who save victims from villains | power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci Says:

    […] Using Todorov and Propp ( […]

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