From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
For Esmé with Love and Squalor

For Esmé with Love and Squalor

  

by J.D. Salinger

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

Basically, the first section of the story (the tearoom scene) – lasts until the shift in time and place.

Act II

Sergeant X's post-breakdown breakdown is Act II; just after Clay leaves, he's on the brink of utter despair.

Act III

Act III begins with Sergeant X listlessly opening the mysterious green package, and finally throws his optimistic readers a bone – Esmé's letter brings the half-dead man back to life.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement