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Age of Iron

Age of Iron

by J.M. Coetzee

Analysis: Three-Act Plot Analysis

For a three-act plot analysis, put on your screenwriter’s hat. Moviemakers know the formula well: at the end of Act One, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict. During Act Two, she is farthest away from her goals. At the end of Act Three, the story is resolved.

Act I

Mrs. Curren finds out that she's going to die of cancer. That very same day, she discovers that a homeless man has camped out on her property.

Act II

Mrs. Curren goes to Gugulethu with Florence; they discover that Bheki has been killed. Then, when she gets home, Bheki's friend shows up. The police come after him and kill him. Mrs. Curren feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.

Act III

Vercueil helps Mrs. Curren as her condition deteriorates. One day she wakes up, asks if it is "time," and Vercueil holds her in a cold embrace.

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