A MacGuffin is a plot device that serves as the motivating drive for the characters in the story. However, it’s significance only lies in everyone’s desire for it, having no importance otherwise. In a heist movie, it is the money in the vault. In an adventure movie, the macguffin is the ancient artifact. In a roadtrip movie, it is the destination. Regardless of the macguffin, its purpose is to motivate each character’s actions in one way or another.
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