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The Affective Plot

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Plots > The Affective Plot

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

In the affective plot, the emotions and attitude of the main character are changed by some situation, although their rational consideration may remain unchanged. This typically involves some other person, for example a suitor who, whilst logically seems inappropriate, goes from being hated to being loved (or perhaps the reverse).

The story may thus rotate around the emotional turmoil of protagonist as they argue with themselves (and maybe others) about what should be as opposed to what they really feel.

Example

Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'

Discussion

In reading such a story, we might well sympathize with the protagonist as they are driven by their emotions into actions that others (and perhaps the character also) see as inappropriate and hazardous.

This internal struggle between head and heart is a common theme and it is affirming for us as people that other people both experience such issues and somehow manage to handle the turmoil.

The Affective Plot is one of Friedman's story plots.

See also

Friedman, N. (1955). Forms of the Plot. Journal of General Education. 8: 241-253

 

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