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Rescue stories

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Plots > Classic story types > Rescue stories

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Rescue stories involve the saving of people trapped in situations where they usually would prefer not to be and where their lives may well be in danger.

Rescue generally comes from without, with a hero battling to save the victims. These people may be cowering wrecks or may find courage of their own.

Rescue stories often include elements of chase as the rescuers hunt the captors or the freed victims flee. Rescue is often used to spice up action and adventure stories.

Rescue story frames include:

  • Rescuing those kidnapped or held hostage by criminals.
  • Rescuing people lost or trapped in inhospitable terrain.
  • Saving people in doomed planes, boats, spaceships, etc.
  • Rescuing people trapped in fires, storms, floods and other natural disasters.
  • Saving people from their own foolishness.

Example

Kidnapped
Ransom
24

Discussion

We all have a deep need for safety and wish for rescue from the problems and hazards we face. We thus seek parent substitutes who will be our saviors, from religious figures and leaders to friends and helpful strangers. Rescue stories thus give us hope and succor, promising that when things go wrong a rescuer will appear.

The rescue format is a useful frame for contrasting extremes of human behavior, with cruel and kind captors, terrified and courageous victims and brave and resolute rescuing heroes

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