Notes on Plot from Brown’s Hope Amidst Ruin

As I mentioned yesterday, I deeply appreciate A. Philip Brown’s book, Hope Amidst Ruin: A Literary and Theological Anaylsis of Ezra.

Here are the notes I took on what he says about plot–page numbers in parentheses refer to Brown’s book:

Plot: ordered arrangement of the incidents . . . which has a beginning and a middle and an end (66).

What plot is: “the principle of interconnectedness and intention which we cannot do without in moving through the discrete elements—incidents, episodes, actions—of a narrative. . . . a plot . . . is a narrative of events, the emphasis falling on causality” (66–67 n. 4).

What plot does: “serves to organize events in such a way as to arouse the reader’s interest and emotional involvement, while at the same time imbuing the events with meaning” (67 n. 4).

“the structure of [the narrative’s] actions, as these are ordered and rendered toward achieving particular emotional and artistic effects” (67 n. 4).

“Plot is a selected sequence of logically-caused events that solve a conflict by utilizing established literary conventions such as introduction, complication, crisis and denouement” (67 n. 4).

“plot structure refers to the large-scale layout of the plot in terms of episodes, phases, and scenes” (69 n. 12).

“A ‘phase’ is a group of logically or thematically related scenes, and a ‘scene’ is an event or event sequence that is complete in itself” (69 n. 16).

Models for Analyzing Plot Structure:

(1) Analysis in terms of the beginning, middle, and end;

(2) Analysis in terms of a pyramidal model of conflict development and resolution;

(3) Analysis in terms of the rise or fall of the protagonist’s fortune (69–72).


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