Investigating the meaning of stories occupies readers of literature, historians as they look for patterns of past events, psychoanalysts as they discern the emergent continuities in the stories of their clients, and all who would ponder the wholeness and fragmentation of their lives. Our stories which come to closure mirror the stages of our life cycle in a six-stage plot process. The modes underlie the kinds of meanings which emerge in those plots. Myth, The Great Dance, Family Binds, Community, and Isolation comprise the universes of human experience. Plot process in these five modes accounts for all human narratives, from any culture, any time, told by any human. This book presents a theory of plots and extends the framework to film and to ideologies. The book completes and renders more lucid the ideas presented in Tilleys two previous books on plot, Plot Snakes and the Dynamics of Narrative Experience and Plots of Time: An Inquiry into History, Myth, and Meaning.