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there can be one or more sub-plots in any story. A sub-plot will often reveal something about the character of one of the main characters, or it will reveal another aspect of the theme that is tackled in the main plot. E.g. a rich and powerful politician is greedily allowing oil companies to pollute the city to make money for himself (main plot). In the sub-plot, he shows another aspect of his greed by dating two girlfriends, in addition to a wife.