Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis
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 : Overcoming the Monster
Anticipation Stage and Call
We learn that there is something awful in Paul's past that he can't quite remember, but that has scarred him, physically and emotionally, for life. It seems to have something to do with Erik, his brother, but we're not sure what yet. He starts having freaky flashbacks, however, which leave him wanting to know more about what really happened to him.
Life goes on, and Paul sure seems to dislike and even fear Erik, but Erik doesn't seem to do enough to have caused that fear. Sure, he's occasionally mean to his little brother, but what big brother isn't? And yeah, his parents are kind of obsessed with him, but is that really his fault?
Oh. Now we get it. He beats up kids who are years younger than he is. He makes fun of people whose brothers just died. He drives away all of Paul's friends, and thinks it's funny. He never gets in trouble for anything. Ever. And Paul is terrified of him.
Luis is dead. Tino and Victor try to avenge his death, and this time, finally, Paul joins in the fight against his brother, if only indirectly, by helping Tino escape. But when Erik and Arthur confront Paul, he doesn't back down, and instead, threatens them. For now, though, Paul's the one who's in trouble…
The Thrilling Escape from Death, and Death of the Monster
…until he starts telling the truth to everyone—his parents, his friends, the police—and finally, himself. He remembers what Erik did to him as a kid. Erik ends up in trouble with the law for robbery and murder. Their parents seem to realize how wrong they've been to idolize Erik and ignore Paul. And Paul gets to start over at a new school, with a new lease on life.