Behind the Rebirth type of story one can find the same basic sequence:
1) a young hero or heroine falls under the shadow of the dark power;
2) for a while, all may seem to go reasonably well, the threat may even seem to have receded;
3) but eventually it approaches again in full force, until the hero or heroine is seen imprisoned in the state of living death;
4) this continues for a long time, when it seems that the dark power has completely triumphed;
5) but finally comes to the miraculous redemption: either, where the imprisoned figure is a heroine, by the hero; or, where it is the hero, by a young woman or a child.
The power of this type of story to move us lies in the contrast between the condition of the hero or heroine when we see them frozen in their isolated, imprisoned state and the moment when the liberation begins, as we see them being released from the dark power’s icy grip. Again and again we see the same range of imagery being used to conjure up the former state, when the dark power is dominant:
coldness, hardness, immobility, constriction, sleep, darkness, sickness, decay, isolation, torment, despair, lack of love.
Finally, prevailing against that state as spring follows winter, we see the exactly corresponding imagery of
warmth, softness, movement, liberation, awakening, light, health, growth, joining together, happiness, hope, love.
(from “The Seven Basic Plots: why we tell stories” by Christopher Booker.)Read less