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The Disillusionment Plot

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Plots > The Disillusionment Plot

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

In the disillusionment plot, the main character starts off with an admirable set of ideals. Then, by dint of circumstance and events, the person becomes disillusioned and abandons those ideas.

The protagonist is thus left emptied and perhaps morally worthless as they abandon themselves to their fate or otherwise go off the idealistic rails.

Example

Scott Fitgerald's 'The Great Gatsby'

Discussion

The reader of such stories starts off admiring the character and thus associates closely with them. Then when the protagonist abandons their ideals, we feel their sense of loss and perhaps rail at them for their stupidity.

As they wallow in the aftermath, perhaps of self-pity, we might see ourselves in some circumstance and determine to keep our ideals when others might lose theirs.

The Disillusionment 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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