Monday, April 20, 2009

Seven Stories

1. 'Tragedy'. Hero with a fatal flaw meets tragic end. Macbeth or
Madame Bovary.

2. 'Comedy'. Not necessary laugh-out-loud, but always with a happy ending, typically of romantic fulfilment, as in Jane Austen.

3. 'Overcoming the Monster'. As in Frankenstein or 'Jaws'. Its psychological appeal is obvious and eternal.

4. 'Voyage and Return'. Booker argues that stories as diverse as Alice
in Wonderland and H G Wells' The Time Machine and Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner follow the same archetypal structure of personal development through leaving, then returning home.

5. 'Quest'. Whether the quest is for a holy grail, a whale, or a kidnapped child it is the plot that links a lot of the most popular fiction. The quest plot links Lords of the Rings with Moby Dick and a thousand others in between.

6. 'Rags to Riches'. The riches in question can be literal or metaphoric. See Cinderella, David Copperfield, Pygmalion.

7. 'Rebirth'. The 'rebirth' plot - where a central character suddenly finds a new reason for living - can be seen in A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, Crime and Punishment and Peer Gynt.

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