Study Guide

The Reivers Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

By William Faulkner

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Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Voyage and Return

Anticipation Stage and "Fall" into the Other World

When we first meet Lucius, he is as vulnerable as a puppy. He's young and totally naïve when it comes to things like stealing and lying, not to mention sex. Lucius has limited life experiences, so when he falls for Boon's ploy, he falls hard.

Initial Fascination

Lucius is initially fascinated by Boon's call to adventure. It offers him a thrilling chance to travel to a place he's been before (Memphis) through a new means of transportation (the car). Though Lucius doesn't feel he is wholly responsible for his choices—Non-virtue appears to be dictating his fate—he is intrigued by the adventures that may await him should he choose to help Boon steal the car.

Frustration Stage

Reality sets in, and Lucius becomes frustrated with the fact that he has been telling more lies than he feels he is capable of telling. He is also frustrated that he will have to cover one lie with another lie, and continue on the bad path of lying.

Nightmare Stage

Though Lucius isn't sure what he was supposed to expect from his travels with Boon, he does know that things have gone horribly wrong. His grandfather's car has been traded for a stolen racehorse, he's participated in smuggling, he's gotten into a fight with another boy, the horse has lost its races, and now the horse has been imprisoned along with Ned and Boon. Lucius certainly falls into a spiraling nightmare, but has he wholly made a mistake in agreeing to accompany Boon?

Thrilling Escape and Return

Just when it all appears to be too much to bear, Lucius finds his escape. The horse wins a race, Grandfather appears, and in no time at all, they all return home. Lucius learns about growing up, and is able to see that though the world can contain corrupt, it abounds in goodness as well. Lucius has fundamentally changed as a result of his formative experiences.

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