Whether it was the mouse removing the thorn from the lion’s foot or the Good Samaritan helping the Jew, finding help where it is least expected has been a major theme throughout literature. In the movie, Finding Nemo, written and directed by Andrew Stanton, one desperate father on a journey to find his stolen son realizes just how important this unforeseen assistance can be. With the use of the formalist criticism technique, the evidence supporting this theme can be found in abundance throughout the movie in interactions between Marlin and other main characters.
There are many ways to analyze the movie but utilizing formal criticism brings unique aspects out that aren’t always found with other methods of analysis. Bedford literature describes formal criticism describes as the following:
An approach to literature that focuses on the formal elements of a work, such as its language, structure, and tone. Formalist Critics offer intense examinations of the relationship between form and meaning in a work, emphasizing the subtle complexity in how a work is arranged. Formalists pay special attention to diction, irony, paradox, metaphor, and symbol, as well as larger elements such as plot, characterization, theme, and narrative technique. (Bedford 2181)
What this means essentially when applied to the text is that it focuses only on key elements that make up the story and uses no outsides sources or examples to support the idea. In the case of this thesis it means that all evidence for the unexpected sources of help should be found within the text itself and supported throughout the whole story.
In order to accurately apply the criticism it is best to understand the exposition of the story and then move on from there. The begin...
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...s been the victim the entire story line and has always been counted out from the other fish because of his disability is the one who saves everyone.
In conclusion, Marlin’s quest is rewarded and he is reunited with his son. Through the help of unlikely sources like a whale, a turtle, and a pelican, Marlin regains what is most precious in the world to him. These characters played a key role in Marlin’s journey but it is clear that Dory was the most critical to the pending success of Marlin’s pursuit. This fish that forgets what she is doing every five minutes and finds camaraderie in sharks, whales, and jellyfish is the most significant source of help Marlin has. Marlin and Dory’s interactions are the epitome of finding help where it is least expected.
Meyer, Michael. The Bedord Introduction to Literature. New York: Bedford, 2008. Print.