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The Birthmark

The Birthmark


by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

Act I is usually marked by the "hero's" commitment to his "journey." Whether you focus on Georgiana or on Aylmer as the story's "hero," we can be pretty sure Act I takes us through the couple's decision to remove the birthmark.

Act II

Drama in the lab. Aylmer shows Georgiana his scientific stuff; she thinks it's cute until she finds him pale-faced and sweaty in front of his furnace.


The couple reconcile and decide to move forward with the procedure. Georgiana drinks the elixir, but quite unfortunately dies right after.

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