Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

Dr. Heidegger invites his guests over to his creepy study and tells them about the elixir he has procured.

Act II

The guests drink the potion and act like fools; they shatter the vase.


The guests grow older again. Heidegger evaluates the results of his experiment and draws his conclusion, while his guests have clearly learned nothing at all.

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