The Subtxt Advantage over ChatGPT

A deeper understanding of narrative structure

As narrative theorists, we continuously explore the relationship between story structure and our understanding of it. Two popular tools have made significant strides in aiding this journey: OpenAI's GPT-4, or ChatGPT, and Subtxt's Muse. However, when it comes to comprehending intricate narrative structures like the Storyform, there is a clear advantage to using Subtxt. This can be understood by analyzing the 2019 film "Joker".

ChatGPT (GPT-4) Analysis of Joker

Let's start with the experience of using ChatGPT. GPT-4, with its deep learning capabilities, can provide an ostensibly impressive analysis of "Joker". It employs advanced AI techniques to generate a nuanced textual output that appears both insightful and detailed. However, upon closer inspection, its inherent limitations become apparent.

Dramatica Analysis of Joker with GPT-4

When tasked to analyze the Storyform of "Joker", it demonstrates what can be best described as an inference machine. It repeats the same text through different lenses, such as those of Alfred and society. The outcome, while not wholly erroneous, lacks a comprehensive understanding of the interconnectedness of the Four Throughlines (Main Character, Objective Story, Relationship Story, and Influence Character). The lack of precision is especially evident in the misarrangement of Domains, placing Universe and Mind, and Physics and Psychology diagonally across from each other, which deviates from the accepted understanding of narrative structure.

Full Transcript:

Use the Dramatica theory of fiction to perform a breakdown of Joker, directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix. Be as complete as possible in filling out the storyform and aligning as many aspects of the film to the structures of Dramatica as you can.

"Dramatica" is a theory of story structure that provides a comprehensive model for understanding and creating stories. It proposes that every complete story is a model of a single human mind trying to resolve an inequity, and breaks the structure down into different aspects, including the main character, influence character, objective story, relationship story, and more. Here's how we can apply it to the 2019 film "Joker":

  1. Overall Story (Objective Story):

·   Domain: Universe (Society and Its Order) - The story unfolds in a city plagued with inequality, high crime rates, and social unrest. Arthur, the character who becomes the Joker, is a product of this society. ·   Concern: Progress - The state of Gotham and its citizens seems to be deteriorating, and this decline is the source of the > overall story's problems. ·   Issue: Fact vs Fantasy - The city's elite ignore the harsh reality of the world they've created (Fact), while others are > forced into violent fantasies as a means of escape or resistance (Fantasy). ·   Problem: Inequity - Arthur feels an inequity in how he is treated and seen by society. His (and many others') problems > are caused by the unequal distribution of wealth and social status.

  1. Main Character (Arthur Fleck/Joker):

·   Domain: Mind - Arthur is plagued by mental illnesses and a delusional sense of reality. ·   Concern: Conscious - Arthur is highly aware of his own miseries and the state of society. He's increasingly tormented by > his life conditions and societal neglect. ·   Issue: Self vs Self-Image - He struggles with his sense of self-worth and the image he projects to the world. ·   Problem: Inequity - Arthur struggles with feeling unequal to those around him and feels he isn't given the respect he > deserves.

  1. Influence Character (Society/Gotham):

·   Domain: Psychology - Gotham influences Arthur through manipulation, abuse, neglect, and the way it perceives him. ·   Concern: Being - The influence character is concerned with maintaining its status quo, which involves ignoring the less > fortunate and the mentally ill. ·   Issue: Desire - Gotham's desire for prosperity and a semblance of peace (without dealing with its deep-seated issues) > influences Arthur and exacerbates his own issues. ·   Problem: Inequity - Gotham has an issue with social inequality, which drives its influence on Arthur and the story as a > whole.

  1. Relationship Story (Arthur vs. Society):

·   Domain: Physics - Their relationship is characterized by physical actions: the physical abuse Arthur suffers and the > violence he inflicts on society. ·   Concern: Understanding - The relationship centers around Arthur's growing understanding of his place in society and > society's failure to understand or accept him. ·   Issue: Interpretation vs. Sense of Self - Arthur interprets society's treatment of him as a rejection, leading to a > warped sense of self, while society views Arthur as a menace without understanding his circumstances. ·   Problem: Inequity - The problem in their relationship is the inequity Arthur experiences due to his social status and > mental health.

  1. Story Outcome and Judgement:

·   Outcome: Success - From Arthur's perspective, he successfully transforms from a victim to an empowered instigator, > becoming the Joker and initiating a city-wide riot against the elite. ·   Judgment: Bad - Despite this success, the overall judgment is "bad" because Arthur loses his sanity completely and is ultimately confined in an asylum. In the Dramatica model, "Joker" is an example of a tragedy, in which the protagonist reaches his goal (Success) but with a negative emotional outcome (Bad). Arthur's transformation into Joker is a successful rebellion against

Subtxt Muse Analysis of Joker

Now, let's contrast this with Subtxt's Muse. Developed with decades of narrative analysis and teaching experience, Muse is a powerful tool in understanding narrative structure. It provides a conversational and exceptionally accurate account of the Storyform in "Joker". It clearly communicates the preference for the Main Character Throughline, peppered with Objective Story plot elements, while astutely observing the near absence of the Relationship Story Throughline.

Subtxt Muse Analysis of Joker

Furthermore, Muse provides an insightful interpretation of the role of the "unreliable narrator" trope in "Joker". This elucidates how this device subtly shifts narrative structure and contributes to the overall texture of the story.

Full Transcript:

what can you tell me about the film "Joker" in terms of narrative structure?

Hello James! 😊 The film "Joker" has an interesting narrative structure that has sparked various discussions and interpretations. In terms of narrative structure, the film primarily focuses on the Main Character Throughline, which follows Arthur Fleck's (Joker) personal journey and transformation. The Objective Story Throughline is also present, showcasing the societal issues and chaos in Gotham City.

However, the film seems to lack a strong Relationship Story Throughline perspective, which is essential for a complete and balanced narrative. This absence of a clear relationship story might be one of the reasons for the mixed critical response to the film.

The narrative element of "Theory" plays a significant role in the story, as it counterbalances the abundance of "Hunch" that drives conflict in the film. The film argues that a structured explanation or theory, regardless of its source or believability, can help temper the angst of hunches, but only for the individual.

The concept of the "unreliable narrator" is also an essential part of the narrative structure in "Joker." The film's narrative structure allows for multiple interpretations of the events and the protagonist's actions, making the story more complex and thought-provoking. 🎭

In essence, Subtxt's Muse doesn't merely infer and replicate information. Instead, it recognizes patterns, interprets underlying concepts, and conveys the complexities of narrative structure in an approachable, conversational manner. This is where the Subtxt advantage truly shines.

Subtxt's constant development ensures it remains a living, breathing model of narrative structure. It's not just a tool, but an evolving companion to the author, growing along with our deepening understanding of narrative. It goes beyond mechanical pattern recognition and delves into the profound layers of story comprehension, bringing us closer to truly mastering the art of narrative analysis.

While both ChatGPT and Subtxt's Muse have their merits, the Subtxt advantage lies in its profound understanding, the capacity for conversationally dissecting complex narrative structures, and its constant evolution. If we're serious about not just consuming stories but also understanding and appreciating their underlying structures, Subtxt is an indispensable tool. It's a game changer in our endeavor to unravel the intricate dance between story elements and our comprehension of them.

Originally published 05-25-2023

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