Stories with Main Characters Who “Start”

STORIES that have Growth of Start:

A Doll’s House: Nora must stand on her own and start a new life.

The Age of Innocence: Newland must start to externalize his liberal ideas of living, if he is to achieve true happiness in his life.

All About Eve: Margo has to start believing in herself. She must begin to be comfortable with her age, and accept that Bill loves her for who she is, on the stage and off.

Apt Pupil: Todd starts acting on the evils of Dussander’s memories. He tortures and kills winos, then moves on to kill whoever gets in his way (Rubber Ed), and next, anonymous freeway travelers.

Blade Runner: Deckard needs to start getting in touch with his emotions if he’s to get past being a killing machine and become more human.

Bringing Up Baby: David ultimately needs to do something about the fact that deep down he really loves Susan. Early on, he admits that “In moments of quiet, I’m strangely drawn to you. But, well, there haven’t been any quiet moments.” When David jumps to Susan’s rescue at the end (after Susan has just dragged in the wild leopard), Susan accepts it as an acknowledgment of his love.

Candida: Morell needs to hold out for Candida to make the decision to stay with him.

Casablanca: Rick must start becoming the conscientious man he was in Paris, pick up the fight against the Nazis, and fill the hole in his heart created by Ilsa’s desertion.

The Glass Menagerie: Laura is holding out for something good to come into her life — for her “Prince Charming” to arrive and take her away to live happily ever after.

The Graduate: Ben has a hole in his heart. A huge sucking chest wound (metaphorically speaking) of a hole that needs to be filled by starting on a path of his own choosing. However, it could be said that Ben is wasting his time and should stuff aside all of his feelings, lie about the affair, pretend to be interested in plastics, and move onto the business of aggressively pursuing his future. That’s probably what he should start doing if he wants to achieve the objective story goal. But would that make him happy?

Klute: While investigating leads in Tom’s disappearance, Klute stays close to Bree, holding out for the man who’s stalking her to make a mistake and reveal himself.

Othello: Othello must start to realize that he can’t run his marriage using the same unbending discipline and militaristic thinking he uses to rule his soldiers. He must start to question Iago’s motives for accusing Desdemona of being unfaithful, and look beyond the surface of events for their true meaning and greater implications.

The Philadelphia Story: Ultimately, Tracy must start being more forgiving and more accepting of human frailties.

Quills: Abbe de Coulmier needs to take the upper hand in his relationship with The Marquis to be successful in restraining the inmate’s prose. This does not happen.

Rear Window: The firmly entrenched bachelor, Jeff, needs to start admitting what he likes about marriage–he obviously enjoys being pampered by his nurse–and commit to his relationship with Lisa, before he turns into a “lonesome and bitter old man.” He also needs to begin a personal involvement with Thorwald if he’s to entrap him.

Rebel Without a Cause: Jim wants Frank to start to act like a man so that he can respect him as a father; Jim’s family moves constantly, ostensibly to give their son a fresh start each time:

Ray: That why you moved from the last town? ‘Cause you were in trouble? You can talk about it if you want to–I know about it anyway. Routine check.

Jim: And they think they are protecting me by moving.

Ray: You were getting a good start in the wrong direction back there. Why did you do it? (Stern 15)

Romeo and Juliet: Romeo has to start acting like the man that Juliet is certain he can be.

Rosemary’s Baby: Rosemary must take charge of her own life and that of the baby’s.

Searching for Bobby Fischer: Josh holds out for Bruce and Fred’s unconditional support.

Sula: Nel starts living her own life independent of hurt and anger.

Sunset Boulevard: Joe must start to act with more integrity if he’s going to truly be a success. He needs to start telling the truth to the finance men, to Norma about her script, to Artie and Betty about his relationship with Norma, if he hopes to set things straight in his life. He needs to stop lying to himself about getting by on trite stories and concentrate on writing meaningful material instead.

To Kill a Mockingbird: Scout lacks open-mindedness as she sees issues in black and white. Her tolerance of individual differences starts when she can understand another person’s point of view.

Tootsie: Michael must start to think about other people’s needs and feelings, instead of pushing his values and opinions on everyone.

Unforgiven: Although Munny tells the Kid that he’s “not like that no more,” he must unfortunately disregard the wishes of his late wife and start using his meanness and killing skills if he’s to succeed and survive in this violent, lawless environment.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Martha has strayed far too far into the land of perception. Even though Martha says, “Truth and illusion, George; you don’t know the difference,” it is actually Martha who cannot tell the difference anymore and George must hold out for Martha to start being able to recognize the difference.

Washington Square: Regarding Catherine, the audience is waiting for her to start standing up for herself.

When Harry Met Sally: Harry’s loneliness increases when he fails to make the obvious decision to become romantically involved with his best (girl) friend. It is once he comprehends his friendship with her does not have to be exclusive of an intimate relationship, he can start living a fulfilling life, “And I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible” (Ephron, Reiner, & Scheinman, 1988, p. 120).

Witness: Rachel needs to fill the gap left by the death of her husband, Jacob. She needs someone to love–who’ll appreciate her sexuality–and be a father for Samuel.

X-Files: Beyond the Sea: Scully has to start to believe in herself apart from what her father may have thought of her life choices. She must believe in her ability to solve this case without the guidance of her partner, and act effectively to save the kidnap victims.

Excerpted from
Dramatica Pro Story Development Software