Plot Scheme

Plot Scheme

 

(in Russian, fabula), the narration of the events in an epic, a lyric epic, or a drama, as contrasted to the events themselves, which constitute the work’s plot (siuzhet)—that is, the first term is called “plot,” whereas the second term is referred to as “plot scheme” (fabula).

The plot scheme may differ from the plot in terms of the narrative sequence: the events may be arranged not in the sequence according to which they take place in the life of the characters, but with transpositions, hiatuses, and later revelations; examples are M. Iu. Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time, H. Boll’s Billiards at Half Past Nine, and Ch. Aitmatov’s Farewell, Gul’sary!

A work may be narrated by an author who never reveals himself as such, as in Balzac’s Le Père Goriot or Gorky’s The Artamonov Business, or by an author who expresses his emotional reactions, as in Hugo’s The Man Who Laughs. The narrator may also be a fictitious observer who witnesses and evaluates the events depicted, as in Dostoevsky’s The Devils or T. Mann’s Doctor Faustus. Finally, the narrator may be the hero, as in Chekhov’s “My Life” or Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.

A narrative may be in the form of a memoir, as in L. N. Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad, a diary, as in N. V. Gogol’s “Notes of a Madman,” a series of letters, as in Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, or a chronicle, as in M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin’s The History of a City. An author sometimes begins a work by presenting a narrator, the narrator’s milieu, and the factors that impelled him to recount his story or his reminiscences about the events depicted; at the end the author again returns to the narrator. This literary device is known as framing the plot and is used in Turgenev’s Torrents of Spring and Chekhov’s “The Man in a Case.”

The distinction between the plot scheme and the plot within one work may be great or minimal. By means of the devices in the plot scheme, the author stimulates interest in the development of the events, provides a more profound analysis of the characters, and intensifies the work’s ideological and emotional impact on the reader. Some scholars assert that the term “plot scheme” is unneeded, since all of its meanings are covered in the concepts of plot, the basis of the plot, and plot composition.

G. N. POSPELOV

References in periodicals archive ?
The souvenir plot scheme, run by Lochaber Estates, has already opened doors for others who snapped up squares of land.
Bob Malpiedi from Activities for Health, which is supported by Newcastle New Deal for Communities said: "We adopted the land through the City Council's Adopt a Plot scheme and local people have really got behind the project, helping every step of the way.
Situated in the quiet residential area, the remaining houses on the 59 plot scheme have an entrance hall, cloakroom with wc, fitted kitchen, utility, good lounge of 15ft 9ins by 12ft 3ins and a separate dining room.
He said that the housing and plot schemes had been launched under the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Housing Programme and assured that plots would also be provided to the deserving families in different parts of Sindh.
Sleepless In Seattle proved Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan make a lovely couple, even when the plot schemes to keep them apart until the very last moment.
Gamers will be allowed to play as the green pigs and plot schemes against the birds.