For the Love of Love
A useful way to see this relationship is to think of the plot as the outer journey the Hero undertakes in order to achieve the goal and save the day, and the subplot as the inner journey that unfolds in concert with it – in many ways the subplot provides some of the major motivation for the outer journey.
The Hero’s love interest, his/her relationship with friends and family, for example, provide some of the reasons the Hero typically risks life and limb to save the day. In The Matrix, Neo’s outer journey is to defeat these antagonistic forces that keep mankind slumbering in a false virtual world.
Neo’s inner journey is to realise that he is indeed the one person who can defeat the agents and machines and save mankind – a realisation that is a prerequisite for aquiring the power needed to perform this difficult task. His friendship with Morpheus and the rest of the crew, and the love he and Trinity feel for each other, personalise Neo’s outer journey and make it immediate.
Often, the inner and outer journeys intersect in one powerful scene. In The Matrix, Neo dies at the hands of agent Smith but is brought back to life through Trinity’s love for him – symbolised by a kiss.
The plot and subplot work together to create a cohesive story. The plot describes the outer journey while the subplot provides much of the motivation for it.
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