Post #2: Narrative Traditions I

The plot in the movie “Fargo” begins with Jerry Lundegaard meeting two criminals, Carl and Gaear, to plan the kidnapping of his wife in order to get money from his wealthy father-in-law, Wade Gustafson. Once the plan was put into action things quickly started to go wrong and problems continued throughout the whole movie. This accurately represents what Aristotle would call a well-constructed plot. To be a well-constructed plot he says it needs to “be single in its issue” and that the change of fortune should be from good to bad.

The change of fortune from good to bad shows a lot about each character. While these situations unfold we can not only see how they handle the situation, but we can also see how they interact with each other. From the start, when Jerry comes up with his plan, we can see that he is a desperate and selfish man. He continues to prove this as the story continues with each bump in the road. Then with the criminals, we are able to see that one is more emotional, talkative, and angry. While the other is emotionless, ruthless, and keeps to himself.

Aristotle explains an important aspect of a tragedy, which is fear and pity. He says “Such an effect is best produced when the events come on us by surprise; and the effect is heightened when, at the same time, they follow as cause and effect.” This is shown when the two kidnappers are on their way back with Jean and they get pulled over, which then causes a surprising domino effect of issues. Once the cop becomes suspicious of the two men Gaear decides the best solution is to kill him. But someone saw them while driving by which then led to a car chase that ended in a double homicide. This chain of cause and effects happened very quickly which added to the element of surprise. 


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