Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy
Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.
Plot Type :
Seafaring and Storytelling
Jim begins his career at sea and Marlow begins telling his story. Though Jim shows a lot of promise early on, we start getting hints about impending doom from the get-go.
Jim starts service aboard the Patna and Marlow first sees Jim at his trial. It's the calm before the storm; Jim hasn't been sentenced yet, and we're not quite sure what he has done wrong in the first place. It's only a matter of time, though, before we find out.
Jim tells Marlow what happened on the Patna, and our curiosity is finally satisfied. Jim is totally ashamed of his public disgrace, and Marlow decides to help the poor kid.
After his trial, no matter where Jim goes, he can't seem to escape his shameful past. It's a real low point, but he keeps on trucking.
Destruction or Death Wish Stage
Jim finally finds some peace of mind on the remote island of Patusan, but that all takes a turn for the worse when Gentleman Brown arrives and stirs up some serious trouble. After attempting to fend of Brown, and make a deal with him, Jim winds up dead at the hands of his father-figure Doramin, because he feels responsible for Doramin's son's death.