According to Aristotle, there are six parts of a tragedy: plot, diction, character, thought,
music, and spectacle. Among the six parts of a tragedy, he believed plot to be the soul
of the tragedy. Tragedy is basically an imitation of action that is complete in itself,
serious and of a certain magnitude.
Plot is the storyline of a text. An author puts together a series of events to create a
story. The sequence of that series of events is the plot. Plot entails action. Action is the
one around which everything revolves. Character is mere an agent who performs the
action. Tragedy can be written without a character but not without the plot. He also
argued that it is difficult to make a solid plot but easy to create good characters and
diction. He said that plot should follow unity of action that is it should have a proper
beginning, middle and end. The beginning initiates the main action and makes us to
look forward, in the middle the action gets complicated, and finally at the end all the
complications related to the action are resolved.
I agree with Aristotle’s notion of plot being more important than character and the
other parts of a story. Plot is the structure of the story. It encompasses all the events in
a chronological and logical manner. What worth a movie or any story can have without
a well- developed plot?
In the movie, 88 Minutes, it is obviously the plot that keeps your mind engaged
throughout. For instance, in the movie, we find the plot to be very thrilling and full of
suspense from the beginning till the end since we don’t know who the killer is and what
he/she wants? It is the suspense of the plot that grabs our attention till the end without
making us to blink our eyes for a moment. As we see in the movie things look so blur
and unclear in the start, but as the story moves things start to reveal themselves.
Moreover, it is the quality of the plot that makes the character appealing and
interesting. For example, the character of the forensic psychiatrist Jack Gramm seemed
mysterious and deep to me. He also made me to feel pity and affection for him as he
strives to find the murderer. since he gets an anonymous phone call saying that he has
only 88 minutes to live.
To quote from the text
You have 88 minutes to live.
You know how long 88 minutes can be, don't you? That's 11:45.
The character of Jack Gtamm’s assistant Shelley also appealed me. According to the
story, she was playing a sincere and loyal role towards Jack Gramm. Though she
commits a mistake and lets the audio recording of Jack Gramm’s sister out, but she
confesses her mistake to Jack. So it all depends on the plot that how it presents the
characters to us.
It is the plot which develops our interest in the starting of the movie not the
characters of the twin sisters: Joanie Cate and Janie Cate, they helped in starting off
the story only. In the beginning, as we see an unknown man brutally kills the twin sister
of Janie cates that induces pity, fear, and curiosity in the mind of the audience to see
what will happen next.
To quote from the movie
Could you see who did this?
Just a glimpse. It was dark.
So it is basically the plot line that drives you into the movie.
Furthermore, till the end of the movie, we do not know who the killer is though Jon
Forster who slayed Joanie Cates is in jail. Women were still being murdered the same
way as Jon Forster did. The speculative and investigative plot makes us to watch the
movie to the end. At the end, we surprisingly find the lawyer of Jon Forster, Lydia
Doherty, to be the killer. She was psychologically being manipulated by her client Jon
To quote from the film
Lydia Doherty, copycat murderer.
I wish Forster could see your face.
You look so totally clueless.
Thus, the plot is the one that busies the mind of the audience. The plot of the movie
is well-structured and well-organized to puzzle us till resolution.
In addition, I believe, all the characters in the movie are just a part of the plot. They
simply perform the action which is most important and worth watching. The characters
such as that of Kim and her ex- boyfriend are to add more suspense to the plot and to
make the viewer think in multiple dimensions, for at times, we doubt Kim to be behind
all the killings. Jack Gramm too doubts her and most of his students.
As evidence from the text:
You left the party with Dale Morris, the girl that was murdered.
Yes, I did.
What did you do? Where did you go?
We went to the Hickory Stick, had 2 drinks.
I went home, alone.
Scarlett states “We learn about a character best by hearing about the actions of that
character.” And, “it’s through plots that we experience characters, not the other way
around.” We come to know about the reality and behavior of each character in the
movie as the plot develops. For example, the character of the forensic psychiatrist Jack
Gramm is revealed gradually in the movie and we come to know that he too is suffering
from a deep pain since his little sister was killed the same way by Jon Forster in 88
To quote from the movie: It took him 88 minutes to hack my sister to bits.
In conclusion, from the above discussion, it is clear that plot is more important for any
story then the characters. The plot has action and action is the gravitational force
around which all other parts of the story revolve.