Echoing my comments in Part 1, the plot is also simple (again, I say that not in a derogatory way): Schofield getting from Point A to Point B. It’s a classic hero’s journey in the broadest sense: Schofield leaves the Ordinary World (behind the lines) and reluctantly accompanies Blake on a suicide mission to give orders to Captain Mackenzie to halt a planned assault. The mission is made personal by Blake’s brother being under Mackenzie’s command. There are dramatic turns in Act Two: Blake’s death which happens near the midpoint of the story (what I call The Transition) and Schofield’s near death experience nearly drowning in the river.

Metaphorically, Blake’s death lays a burden of guilt upon Schofield’s shoulders. Practically speaking, it also means he has to take on the journey alone. The near death experience in the river is a kind of symbolic baptism in the waters of the underworld, his own personal descent into ‘hell’ from which he emerges a man with a clear sense of mission.

An interesting aspect of the plot is the ‘passing the baton’ effect of Blake and Schofield, then Schofield by himself progressing on the journey and intersecting with this character… then that character… then this other character. Each character has their own narrative function, but in effect, their respective purposes get passed from one to the other like a baton in a relay race. Of course, this makes sense since Schofield is moving from Point A to Point B, and apart from a German soldier who reappears, Act Two and Act Three all involve new characters with each stage of Schofield’s journey.

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