6 Story Arcs Define Western Literature, Data-Mining Study Reveals

6 Story Arcs Define Western Literature, Data-Mining Study Reveals

  • “Rags to riches” (the story gets better over time);
  • “Man in a hole” (fortunes fall, but the protagonist bounces back);
  • “Cinderella” (there’s an initial rise in good fortunes, followed by a setback, but a happy ending)
  • “Tragedy” or “riches to rags” (things only get worse);
  • “Oedipus” (bad luck, followed by promise, ending in a final fall)
  • “Icarus” (opens with good fortunes, but doomed to fail)