Post 2: Narrative Traditions

In the movie Fargo, the plot is set by the actions of the main character, Jerry Lundegaard, who is a car salesman that hires two criminals to kidnap his wife in order to extort money from his wealthy father-in-law. This sets off a chain of events that leads to multiple murders and a criminal investigation headed by the pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson.

The actions of the main characters reveal their flaws and transformations, as well as the inner lives of the characters. Jerry’s desperation and greed drive him to commit a crime that spirals out of control, ultimately leading to his downfall. Marge’s persistence and compassion are contrasted with the ruthless and senseless violence of the criminals, highlighting her morality and humanity.

Fargo also displays characteristics of a tragedy according to Aristotle’s Poetics, including a reversal of fortune, a character flaw leading to their downfall, and the experience of fear and pity in the audience. The film’s dark humor and suspenseful plot, as well as its portrayal of the consequences of criminal behavior, serve to reinforce the tragic elements of the story. Overall, Fargo is a movie that blends crime, black comedy, and tragedy to create a unique and captivating viewing experience

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