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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

David loses his job at the University and leaves Cape Town to live with Lucy out in the country.

Act II

David and Lucy are attacked by the three men, Lucy is raped, and the dogs are shot to death. Nobody is there to help.


David comes back to the Eastern Cape. Lucy decides to have her baby and to marry Petrus. David decides to put the dog to sleep.


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