In section two of the tale, the reader/viewer moves into the Rising Action of the story. Usually, there is no clear boundary between exposition and rising action; rather, there is a gradual merging of the two — like crossing the divide between the coast and the mountains with a gradual indication that you are leaving one realm behind and entering another. In drama (be it print, theatrical, or film), on the other hand, the shifts between chapters/acts/scenes mark that transition. In this section of the story, complications emerge and eventually a dominant conflict becomes clear. The range of conflicts looks like this:
- In early literature, the conflicts were Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, and Man vs. Self.
- As fiction evolved and psychological theories, technological advances, and urbanization occurred, the list expanded to include Man vs. Society, Man vs. Technology, and Man vs. Alter Ego. These emerging types were the result of many factors, but the theories of Freud and Jung, the Industrial Revolution, and the move from Agrarian to Industrial society were major factors.
- In the age of film, these others exist, but as the 20th century unfolded, the list expanded yet again. Today, we add Man vs. Alien Society, Man vs. Biotechnology, and Man vs. Cloned Self to bring the number of major types of conflict to at least nine (9). Modern film-goers have probably encountered all nine of these types. (Layne and Lewis)
1. Watch a movie. Select one character to study.
2. Fill in these two worksheets as you watch.
3. How does the basic plot structure intertwine with the character arc. (How does the character change over the course of the story?)
4. What is the nature of the conflict? (Man vs. Man, Man vs. Self, etc.) Are there several conflicts?
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