Abstract

Perhaps the most pressing concern for critics interested in advancing plot analysis is the need to specify some workable strategies for relating the sequence of plot functions to the fictional discourse they purport to explain. According to Vladimir Propp, plot functions constitute the fundamental components of the story, involving an act of a character defined from the point of view of its significance for the course of the action. Plot functions are embedded in demarcated text segments embodying significant semantic meaning. These text segments may include significant voice-overs, meaningful gestures, acts of recognition, written notes, financial exchanges, speech exchanges, and major actions. The key defining feature of each of these text segments is whether they serve to execute the plot function in an effective manner or not. In order to demonstrate this argument, a neo-Proppian analysis will be employed to elucidate the plot functions in Martin McDonagh's black comedy In Bruges (2008).

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