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Great Expectations

Great Expectations


by Charles Dickens

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

Country Boy

Pip is innocent and cute and loves Joe ... until he meets Estella (bad) and inherits a fortune (good… except bad).

Act II

Emo Boy

Pip is a moody, self-conscious teenager who loses his fortune and inherits a convict, whom he now has to smuggle out of the country.


After a beating, a burning, and a broken heart, Pip has finally endured enough abuse to have a happy ending. Sort of. After spending 11 years working in Egypt and atoning for his sins.

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