Study Guide

Dandelion Wine Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

By Ray Bradbury

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Anticipation Stage (The Call)

The advent of summer is Doug's call to adventure and discovery. He even goes out and gets a new pair of sneakers to speed him on his travels. After all, there are ravines to traipse through, dandelion wine to be made, and friends to race and conquer, lest they decide you're a girl and call you Dora. Chapters 1 through 5 make up the anticipation stage.

Dream Stage (Initial Success)

Things are going pretty well for Doug for the first month or so of summer. He's come to a new realization that he's alive, and in Chapter 6, he's relishing his aliveness so thoroughly that he gets a notebook to record all his epiphanies. And he's pretty happy, too—so happy he suggests Mr. Auffmann build a Happiness Machine to shut all those doom-talkers up.

Frustration Stage (Confrontation)

Things start getting frustrating when the Happiness Machine blows itself up in Chapter 13. After that, people start dying with startling frequency, proving that perhaps everything's not so happy after all. The Frustration Stage culminates in Doug witnessing Elizabeth Ramsell's body during his misguided attempt to save the Tarot Witch, who is ripped from his arms and tossed into the ravine by the evil Mr. Black.

Nightmare Stage (Final Ordeal)

Doug's Nightmare Stage involves a literal nightmare: the dreams generated by the fever that almost takes his life. Chapter 37 might well end with Doug dying in the front yard, if not for the…

Miraculous Escape (Death of the Monster)

… provided by Mr. Jonas's potions. Phew. The emergence from the fever leaves Doug with a new appreciation of life, greatly lessened fear of death, and genuine gusto for the future.

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