In the movie, "South Pacific," the (probable) protagonist is one Lt. Joseph Cable. His problem is that he gets killed before the end.

About 10%-15% into the movie, we meet two other characters, the Frenchman, Emil deBecque, Cable's (surviving) companion, and his future wife, the nurse Nellie Forbush. (About the middle of the movie, we also meet Cable's girl, Liat, the daughter of Bloody Mary (who is introduced early in the play)).

What kind of plot structure or format is it when the main character doesn't make it to the end, and the burden of finishing the story falls on the second and third most important characters? (We also lose sight of Liat at the end, because Lt. Cable is gone.)

  • I don't know if there's a formal term, but it's basically a framing device, although part of the frame is absent. The POV changes to a different character, who has taken responsibility for telling the primary character's story. Many stories are fully framed, that is a character/narrator tells the reader she's going to tell someone else's story, and then the story shifts to that character. At the end, the story shifts back to the initial narrator to wrap the story up.
    – Zan700
    Jul 17, 2020 at 0:29
  • @Zan700: Great. You answered my question about the format of this, story, which I wrote. writing.stackexchange.com/questions/36136/…
    – Tom Au
    Jul 17, 2020 at 2:12

1 Answer 1


I think it is a tragedy story because it is sad if someone dies, especially the main character.

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