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The Reform Plot

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Plots > The Reform Plot

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

In the reform plot, the main character starts off as attractive in some way, but flawed in their character such that they cause their own downfall, perhaps by making an unwise choice or being too immature or arrogant.

Unlike the punitive plot, the protagonist here realizes the error of their ways and changes their ways in time to recover and regain our confidence as they eventually show themselves worthy.

Example

Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter'

Discussion

Initially, we may like the protagonist but then become horrified at their flaws. Once we decide that we like someone, it is troubling to find that they no longer are deserving of our respect and we may feel betrayed.

The reformed character may also remind us of ourselves in some way, perhaps about some time in our mis-spent youth.

The Reform 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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