Narrative Traditions I

Fargo I think is unique in that it is told largely from the bad-guys’ point of view, Jerry and Carl. In this sense the protagonists are bad-guys and the antagonists are the good-guys. You are given insights and scenes of Marge and Wade but these are only to create plausible obstacles to the protagonists. The plot begins before the contents of the movie when Jerry sets up a meeting to discuss his plan of kidnapping his wife. But as soon as the fourth line we are shown that Jerry is not in control and that other characters will challenge him. This movie is not a tragedy in Aristotle’s sense, these characters are not better than common man, everyone is flawed, even the moral center of the film Marge takes time to reconnect with an old boyfriend when she is married, therefore Fargo is a Comedy that follows tragedian conventions.

“Comedy is, as we have said, an imitation of characters of a lower type, – not, however, in the full sense of the word bad…”

The characters’ situations all lead from good to worse except for Marge’s which remains the same. Each character’s reactions to each event follows their established character well, and Jerry and Carl show their losing of control by becoming more erratic. Even Wade’s choice to replace Jerry at the meeting shows that he is used to being in control and his choices leading to the best outcomes, and that bringing a gun shows that he plans for the worst.

“As in the structure of the plot, so too in the portraiture of character, the poet should always aim either at the necessary or the probable. Thus a person of a given character should speak or act in a given way, by the rule either of necessity or of probability;”

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