My story is pretty much complete, there isn’t anything that I would like to change, I’m quite happy and satisfied with how the events are going to roll out. So on Tuesday, I had a talk with one of my tutors about my story, which turned out to be very beneficial for my knowledge of narrative and storytelling. He said that I had good narrative elements in my story like the “enigma code” originally created by Roland Barthes. He also told me to look at Barthes’ 5 narrative codes and research Narrative Theory by Levi-Strauss. And that’s what I did.

I’ve created my story before I’ve done this research so it was surprise when I found out that some of the elements like the enigma code are already present in my story. So the enigma code is essentially the mystery aspect of the story. It’s when you incorporate something or someone in your story that the audience doesn’t know about so it makes them want to know more about that character/thing/event. In my case it’s the brother that appears in the flashback of the main character in the beginning and doesn’t appear again till the very end. Doing this will enable me to some extent gain the audience’s attention and make them wonder as to where the brother went and/or if he’s coming back at all.

The website showed other Barthes’ narrative codes that I will look into later:

” Barthes 5narrative codes:

  1. 2. • Barthes suggested that there will be one or more of the 5 codes that descibe the meaning of a text.• Barthes said that texts may be ‘open’ (unravelled in a lot of different ways) or ‘closed’ (there is only one obvious thread to pull on).
  2. 3. The 5 codes • Hermeneutic / Enigma code • Proairetic/Action code • Semantic code • Symbolic code • Referential code
  3. 4. Hermeneutic/Enigma code• This code refers to mystery within a text. Clues are dropped, but no clear answers are given.• Enigmas within the narrative make the audience want to know more.• Unanswered enigmas tend to frustrate the audience.
  4. 5. Proairetic/Action code• This code contains sequential elements of action in the text.• Proairetic elements add suspense to the text.
  5. 6. Semantic code• This code refers to parts within the text that suggests or referes to additional meanings.• Elements of the semantic code are called Semes.• The seme has a connotative function in the text. It has an extra layer of meaning in addition to its literal meaning
  6. 7. Symbolic code• This code is about symbolism within the text.• It exercises opposites to show contrast and create greater meaning, creating tension, drama and character development.
  7. 8. Referential code• This code refers to anything in the text which refers to an external body of knowlegde such as scientific, historical and cultural knowledge. “



sarahlambe (2017). Barthes 5 narrative codes. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Nov. 2017].