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Cannery Row

Cannery Row

by John Steinbeck

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

Business in the Front

Mack and the boys plot to throw Doc a surprise party, then they work hard—or, as hard as they can, which involves some lying and stealing—to get the money and supplies they need to pull it off.

Act II

Party Down

The party is a total flop. Everyone's mad at Mack and the boys (even we're a little mad at them), and things are looking bleak.

Act III

Fight for the Right

If at first you don't succeed, throw a bigger and better party. At least, that's what Mack and the boys decide to do. But this time, the whole community steps in to help, and the party totally rocks.

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