Ruth is a brief but powerful picture of God's redemptive provision. The book can be studied in a variety of ways, one of which is from a literary perspective. And one way to do so is to try and analyze the plot structure
As I see it, the Book of Ruth is a “problem based” plot. In this kind of plot, a problem is introduced in the beginning which will be addressed in the rest of the story. The major problem is the emptying of Naomi’s life through the death of her husband, two sons, and a daughter-in-law.
Naomi’s plight may have symbolic, theological, and canonical implications. That is, Naomi may be representative of the nation Israel as a whole, her plight and redemption highlighting the loyal love of Yahweh, and the book’s place within the so-called “Bethlehem Trilogy”involving two stories in the book of Judges involving Bethlehem.
In a forthcoming post I will lay out this plot as I see it.