I've been wrapping my head around this new insight I've come across where some of the greatest stories ever told have this "convergence" of their story elements. Where plot, themes, characters, maybe even style, genre or POV, all come together and fit together and even mirror one another.
Has anyone else come across this? Does it have a name? Any examples?
My example is the Harry Potter saga…
The characters, in Harry and Voldemort, mirror one another. In that Voldemort's weaknesses are Harry's strengths, and vice versa (common in strongly antagonist-protagonist stories, like superhero-nemesis stories). For instance, Harry's willing to sacrifice himself to save his friends, but Voldemort has no friends (just followers) and he wants to live forever. Also, Harry understands love — his mother's love protected him — but Voldemort has like zero conception of what love really is.
Plus, Hermione and Ron act as these dual character "pulls" on Harry. Hermione smart, Ron dumb, etc. with Harry right in the middle. Ron and Hermione are actually essential to Harry being a likeable hero because, so much of the time, the hero can be kind of lacking in actual personality. (Ring a bell with Othello, anyone?)
Furthermore, wih plot, the characters converge with the plot at the very beginning (Voldemort tries to kill baby-Harry), throughout the saga, and at the end (Voldemort (again) manages to "kill" Harry) and the character's motivations and strengths and weaknesses are what drive them towards this ultimate climax (showdown) that feels both surprising, yet inevitable.
Lastly, themes. The idea that love conquers all or that one cannot cheat death or just death, as a theme, all continually prop up and play within the narrative, within the plot and within the characters' motivations. For instance, Harry may accept death (sacrifice) to save his friends and Hogwarts, whereas Voldemort's constantly trying to cheat it.
Are there other examples of this convergence of story elements?
It just strikes me as pretty mindblowing and something of a miracle that any author manages to achieve this… 🙂
Source: reddit post