In the video Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories, Vonnegut talks about the different structures have. I decided to connect these shapes with my favorite show Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is a story about a world made up of four nations. Each nation consists of different elements: water, earth, fire, and air. The Avatar is the only person in the world who is able to bend all four elements.
The main plot is like the first shape Vonnegut talks about. The four nations lived together in peace, but the fire nation wanted to take over. This led to a hundred year war, and it is the Avatars destiny to save the world.
The second shape he talks about is shown in a lot of the episodes. In the first episode, it shows Aang breaking out of an iceberg and meeting Katara. He was happy until he discovers he has been frozen in the ice for a hundred years while a war is going on. He decides to turn himself in to keep Katara and her water tribe safe. In the end, they meet up again.
The third shape he refers to relates to Zuko’s story. Zuko begins at rock bottom. He lost his mom and his father burned his face before banishing him. Throughout the series he grows. Zuko starts as a banished prince and ends as the fire lord, ruler of the fire nation. I think that he has one of the greatest character developments in history.
When I first watched this show I was three years old. Now, here I am at the age of twenty and still watching it. Many people can agree with me when I say Avatar is timeless. I appreciate the story more now that I understand how complex it is. The creators tell the story in a way that everyone can enjoy it no matter what age. It’s able to keep people’s attention by sharing new adventures in every episode while continuing to add to the journey of the main plot.