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Rebirth

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Plots > Booker's Seven Basic Plots > Rebirth

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Rebirth stories tell of change, renewal and transformation. They start with the hero under the shadow of a corrupting influence that may make the hero seem evil or at least misguided.

Forms of rebirth include:

  • Traumatic experience and awakening to a new beginning.
  • Low self-esteem being increased following discovery of one potential.
  • Inner conflict as the kinder side of one's character wins over the selfish self.

This transformation is often facilitated by another character, whether it is the wise elder or a romantic peer. This supporter may do battle on behalf of the afflicted hero or encourage them to step up and take charge.

Discussion

Teenagers regularly struggle with who they are as they grow and develop, and rituals of rebirth as they move into adulthood are common.

Rebirth gives a sense of renewal, of sloughing off the baggage of the past and starting again with a clean sheet. It offers new hope and the chance of self-actualization, of becoming the best person we can.

Sigmund Freud was concerned about inner conflict, for example between the id and super-ego or the struggles of transformation across the boundaries of his psychosexual stages. Jaques Lacan identified other transformational early struggles that, uncompleted, could persist into later life. Psychoanalysis can hence be seen as facilitation of rebirth as the therapist helps the client release the anchors of the past and step into a new, coherent self.

Rebirth stories include Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol, Silas Marner and The Lion King.

'Rebirth' is the seventh of Booker's Seven Basic Plots.

See also

Psychoanalysis,

 

Booker, C. (2004). The Seven Basic Plots, London: Continuum Books

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