Great Scott! The Entire Back to the Future Trilogy Is One Big Chiasmus

ZachsMind:

This is simultaneously a ‘wow’ to me and a ‘oh come on!’ it appears to be a sort of literary magic trick using logical fallacies. The writer makes a presumption and then describes the scenes of a film in such a way as to symbolically reflect itself symmetrically. Reading into events as if they have similar meaning which isn’t there in a straight linear experience of the film. Fascinating, but I’m not sure if this means the films in question are deeper than they seem, or if we are reading too much into the narrative of these stories. If only a handful of chosen films reflect this, it could be more pomp than circumstance. Just saying. I’m simultaneously intrigued and repelled, but am attempting to withhold final judgment. Can this be done with any film, if one stretches the premise enough? How much does one have to stretch it? Are there rules to the symmetry or in the narrative of the narrative, does anything go? It may warrant further study.

Originally posted on Deja Reviewer:

I’ve discovered that some films follow a chiasmus formula in the way their stories are set up. What is a chiasmus? It’s an ancient writing structure in which ideas are listed in one order and then repeated in the opposite order to form a complete idea.

The nursery rhyme “Hickory Dickory Dock” is a perfect example of a chiasmus. Every verse follows the same pattern:

A. Hickory dickory dock

 B. The mouse ran up the clock

  C. The clock struck one

 B. The mouse ran down

A. Hickory dickory dock

Up ‘til now I’ve limited my focus to individual films to find their cinematic chiasmus. But I am happy to report that the entire Back to the Future Trilogy is almost perfectly symmetrical. This took some incredible planning to pull off, and I’ll discuss its implications at the end.

But now, let’s make history as we…

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