The master narrative is a compelling force that dictates audiences’ expectations of stories. Ingrained into one from a young age, master narratives are steeped in Western culture. Audiences unwittingly accept the master narrative as how life ought to be. When reading a story or viewing a film, the master narrative can be so compelling that audiences sometimes cannot accept or are shocked by a narrative that diverts from it.
One such master narrative is society’s attitude toward domesticity. Preconceived notions of domesticity guide one through a story. This can easily be seen in contemporary literature and film. One expects the “boy meets girl” and “they lived happily ever after” stories. One hopes for the characters to fall in love, marry, and have 2.4 children (maybe 2.5 if they can afford it!), because that is how things should be. That is what will make the characters happy no matter what obstacles they encounter. Audiences tend to fall into the “Love Conquers All” trap by expecting this formulaic conclusion.
Admittedly, in a modern, multicultural society, the stereotypical domestic scene does not always apply. However, in stories in literature and film, this master narrative of the domestic is pervasive, spanning multiple genres. Portrayals of conventional forms of love and family are extensive in Disney films for example. Author and creat...
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... preconceptions of domesticity—the “Love Conquers All” trap--the film The Wrestler gives us an unexpected ending that is a welcome change of pace, and not the “rote” formulaic happy ending.
Ansen, David. "Endless Summer." Newsweek (Vol. 151, No. 17). 28 Apr. 2008: n.p. SIRS
Renaissance. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.
Chopin, Kate. The Story of An Hour. Vcu.edu. Virginia Commonwealth University. 1894. Web.
20 Jan. 2014
“Kate Chopin ‘The Story of an Hour’: Questions and answers about ‘The Story of an Hour’.” KateChopin.org. The Kate Chopin International Society, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014
Wood, Naomi. "Domesticating Dreams in Walt Disney's Cinderella." The Lion and the Unicorn
20.1 (1996): 25,49,153-154. ProQuest. Web. 22 Feb. 2014.
The Wrestler. Dir. Darren Aronofsky. Per. Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel
Wood. Twentieth Century Fox, 2008. DVD.
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