Why is Mark Z. Considered Holistic in The Social Network?

I’d like other people’s feelings about whether they view Mark as linear or holistic?
I know other people have stressed on the post that linear/holistic is a preference in a story, and a character can display both, but I feel Mark is overall more linear, but I want to know what other’s feel.?

It would be helpful if you stated what you think Mark’s throughline is, what you see his problem/motivation to be, and/or a specific event he encounters and how he solves it.

I know I’ll want me to connect it more to a “throughline”, so it will be more to your liking in Dramatica’s context, but as far as the other parts you’re mentioning, I feel I already stated them in the above posts. If what I wrote earlier isn’t enough, then it’s alright you don’t have to answer. I’ll just read up, and ask another time.

A Linear Mindset works off cause and effect, Holistic works balance and inequity.

The clearest way to see a Holistic Mindset in Mark is to ask what was the purpose of creating Facebook? Was it to cause a specific effect? If I build this social networking platform then THIS will happen…


Was it all about creating an imbalance and increasing the inequities already present, without a clear “Goal” in mind?

You can also see this in the deliberation/lawyer briefings – while everyone sitting across from the table from Mark is clearly set on establishing cause and effect (who started what when, what came first, point by point), Mark is ALL ABOUT creating an imbalance of power…as if he’s wasting his time sitting there with all these ignorant cretins, while he should be with all his fellow geniuses back in Silicon Valley…

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Yes. I see that yes, Mark was taking a holistic approach in the lawyer briefings, but he did take a linear approach when creating Facebook. IF I MAKE FACEBOOK I’LL GET STATUS AND POWER. I believe this is cause and effect? Please correct me if I’m confused on this according to Dramatica’s terms.

Did he actually say this? Or is this your interpretation and assumption of what he was thinking?

With Dramatica, you need to have specific objective examples illustrating a specific Storypoint.

He said he needed to do something substantial in order to get attention. In the film he related this in the first conversation he had with Erica about final clubs (to get status/power). When he saw the opportunity with stealing the the twin’s idea to make “Harvard Connection” he took it seeing this opportunity to get his goal (status and power). This was shown in the film to be his goal.

So in the film The Social Network, the character of Mark Zuckerberg’s Goal was to get status and power? That’s why he built Facebook–because he was power-hungry and status obsessed and knew that by building this massive social network he would end up in control and have power over others?

And he mentions this drive and purpose of gaining status and power in every Signpost? His conversations in the briefing. His personal moments with Eduardo and his attitude and demeanor at the house in Stanford.

He’s all about power?

Please tell me what signposts are in Dramatica terms, and if I can connect it to the movie, I’ll do it.

But yes, he was obsessed with status and power, so I feel it should be easy.


I won’t be able to answer your question specifically until I’ve read to book completely cover to cover, and understand it, unless you help me, or allow me to answer your questions more generally?

If you’d like me to give you examples of showing this desire in conversation with Eduardo, at their college, or in the briefings I could.?

Dramatica is a very complex theory of story that requires an understanding of many core concepts before one can dive into the specifics. The theory is relational in nature–meaning one Storypoint requires knowledge of other Storypoints.

The Main Character Mindset (MC Problem-Solving Style/Mental Sex) is one of the more complicated concepts. Without an understanding of Signposts and greater comprehension of Dramatica theory, you’re likely going to fall back on your own interpretations and understandings of what these terms mean instead of what Dramatica means/intends.

I would suggest reading the entire theory book as a starting point, then searching through posts here for concepts you want to learn more about it, and then, of course, you can always read the hundreds of articles on Narrative First to learn more.


Have you listened to the DUG podcast about this movie? It may help you.

The reason I brought up Throughlines is because you need to distinguish between Mark the Protagonist and Mark the Main Character. The Main Character isn’t involved with Facebook.

I watched the video analysis. And you mentioned in the last forum about getting a grasp on MC and protagonist using Dramatica’s terms. I took note.
The podcast and video analysis I believe are the same though, from what I can make out. Some of the podcast audio recordings on the site though are glitchy and cut out. The Social Network is one of them that does this. Just FYI, maybe something could be adjusted, along with my brain when it comes to Dramatica’s terms. Lol
I’ll work on that, maybe you or someone in charge could check the other.

You took note, I asked you do write it down (first post of this thread) and you didn’t. And then you posted something that clearly demonstrated you don’t understand it. So how could I know you took note or have even tried to understand it? This stuff is hard, but you have to try to meet us halfway.

The video and podcast are the same.

Check the Dramatica terms?

Okay. I did take note, and told you I have to read up, and this is one of the reasons why I chose to try to message people privately, including you, and I didn’t want to post this on a public form (Jim!), so it wouldn’t turn into one of these foolish scolding exercises! Asking questions is part of learning! And I know as a linear you don’t learn that way, but I do. Sorry. And you really turn up the blunt rudeness when you’re on a public form, but you sing a completely different song when I messaged you in private. Wow

And what I meant is maybe you could check the podcasts! Omg

Asking questions is part of learning, but I feel like you have gotten a lot of answers in this thread and the other one and have yet to acknowledge any of them or tried to weave them into your understanding. You may feel like you are working through your process but you have to let us in on that or it just seems like you are stubbornly pursuing a point. (Side note, this is a major problem with holistic writers: they don’t put enough on the page to let the audience know what is motivating the character.)

I was nice in private because it seemed like you had recognized you may be headed down the wrong path and were looking to be reoriented and I welcome anyone who is willing to struggle through the difficulty of Dramatica to reach a better understanding of story.

Anyway, I’ll state my point again: I always advise people work on distinguishing the MC and the Protagonist and the Four Throughlines before anything else. Once you get that down, it’s easier to talk about things like mental sex because you can see where they slot in. Mark (the protagonist) may be linear. Mark (the MC) may be holistic. If you try to treat Mark like one unit, then you see all the behavior bundled together… and that’s not going to help you answer the question you are posing here.

This is why nobody is giving you a direct answer. We can’t. We can only try to get you to understand the framework so that then we can try to answer your question.

ETA: In general, it’s better not to think of Mark the Protagonist at all, but rather, The guy who started Facebook because that help you keep them distinct.


That’s a really long post, and no apology.
Next time just say go read the book, instead of getting rude.
And I’ll take my own advice as well so you don’t have to message me back. Thanks.

I recognize that you are trying to fathom something that is new and completely different than anything you’ve encountered before. ALL of us here can identify with that. However, you are meeting answers that are meant to help you discover an understanding of Dramatica with a passive aggressiveness that is inappropriate. Every time someone suggests a way to look at things that might help you gain in understanding, you shut them down by saying something about going and reading the book. I request, politely, that you stop. It’s not helping anyone, especially not you.Perhaps, you need to read the book to gain understanding and then come back and ask for clarifications with your expanded understanding. Or if there is a passage that is not clicking you can ask about that. But you seem to have an expectation that we’re going to come around and confirm your bias that Mark is linear, I don’t think that is likely to happen. I gave you a list of 10 solid examples in the story of his holisticness, so at this point it feels like you just want agreement with your POV. I will re-iterate my examples here.

  • He apologizes in arrears but then rebalances his bruised ego with self-praise (ad council scene)
  • I can’t stand that loop of Niagra falls that has nothing to do with the Carribean let’s talk outside
  • So much self soothing: something good for someone else gets and insult from him (I’m sure it was just a diversity thing)
  • adding the relationship status was an intuitive leap not a linear part of development
  • comparing facebook with fashion
  • while being questioned, noting that it’s raining
  • During the dinner with Sean parker he is being romanced (not sexually) and has none of the cynicism or disdain he has normally, there is an intellectual balance and affinity he feels for the Sean Parker character
  • Intern interviews coding while drunk
  • meeting with Case Capital getting balance for Sean, there is no logic in that move just a balancing of the scales

And as one last thought, more or less this is a revenge story, which are usually about balancing out a perceived injustice. Nowhere does Mark linearly plot out his revenges, but he still takes them. Now I’m sure @jhull will toddle along to tell me how all my examples are immaterial. That’s okay, I’m still learning too. Cheers to being open to learning.


Actually, I was gonna ask if you wouldn’t mind me copying them verbatim into Subtext :blush:

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