To Kill A Mockingbird

Objective Story Throughline: The Objective view of To Kill A Mockingbird sees the town of Maycomb with its horns locked in various attitudes over the rape trial of Tom Robinson. Due-process has taken over, however many people think this case should never see trial. As the trial comes to fruition, the people of the town argue back and forth about how the defense lawyer ought to behave and what role people should take in response to this alleged atrocity.

Main Character Throughline: The Main Character of To Kill A Mockingbird is Scout and her throughline describes her personal experiences in this story. Scout is a young tom boy who wants things in her life to remain as simple as they've always been. Going to school, however, and seeing the town's reaction to her father's work introduces her to a new world of emotional complexity. She learns that there is much more to people than what you can see.

Obstacle Character Throughline: The Obstacle Character point of view in To Kill A Mockingbird is presented through Boo Radley, the reclusive and much talked about boy living next door to Scout. The mystique surrounding this boy, fueled by the town's ignorance and fear, make everyone wonder what he is really like and if he's really as crazy as they say.

Subjective Story Throughline: The Subjective Story view of To Kill A Mockingbird sees the relationship between Scout and Boo Radley. This throughline explores what it's like for these two characters to live next door to each other and never get to know one another. It seems any friendship they might have is doomed from the start because Boo will always be locked away in his father's house. The real problem, however, turns out to be one of Scout's prejudice against Boo's mysterious life. Boo has been constantly active in Scout's life, protecting her from the background. When Scout finally realizes this she becomes a changed person who no longer judges people without first trying to stand in their shoes.

Summary - The Grand Argument Story

We have described a story as a battle. The overview that takes in the full scope of the battle is the Objective Story Throughline.

Within the fray is one special soldier through whom we experience the battle first-hand. How he fares is the Main Character Throughline.

The Main Character is confronted by another soldier, blocking the path. Is he friend or foe? Either way, he is an obstacle, and the exploration of his impact on the Main Character is the Obstacle Character Throughline.

The Main and Obstacle Characters engage in a skirmish. Main says, "Get out of my way!", and Obstacle says, "Change course!" In the end, the steadfast resolution of one will force the other to change. The growth of this interchange constitutes the Subjective Story Throughline.

Taken together, the four throughlines comprise the author's argument to the audience. They answer the questions: What does it feel like to have this kind of problem? What's the other side of the issue? Which perspective is the most appropriate for dealing with that problem? What do things look like in the "big picture?"

Only through the development of these four simultaneous throughlines can the Story Mind truly reflect our own minds, pitting reason against emotion and immediate advantage against experience in the hope of resolving a problem in the most beneficial manner.

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