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8. Villainy and lack: The need is identified

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Propp's Morphology of the Folk Tale > 8. Villainy and lack: The need is identified

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Previous: 7. Complicity: Unwitting helping of the enemy

Next: 9. Mediation: Hero discovers the lack

 

Description

Symbol: A

There are two parts to this stage, either or both of which may appear in the story.

In the first stage, the villain causes some kind of harm, for example carrying away a victim or the desired magical object (which must be then be retrieved). Villainy may include theft, casting spells on people, murder,

In the second stage, a sense of lack is identified, for example in the hero's family or within a community, whereby something is identified as lost or something becomes desirable for some reason, for example a magical object that will save people in some way.

Example

In Star Wars, Alderaan is destroyed and Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru are killed.

Discussion

'Lack' is a deep psychoanalytic principle which we first experience when we realize our individual separation from the world. Lack leads to desire and deep longing and we look to heroes to satisfy this aching emptiness.

See also

Psychoanalysis

 

Previous: 7. Complicity: Unwitting helping of the enemy

Next: 9. Mediation: Hero discovers the lack

 

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