Study Guide

Dandelion Wine Three-Act Plot Analysis

By Ray Bradbury

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Act I

Act I encompasses Doug's awareness that he's alive, beginning of the notebook, and the construction and (self-)destruction of the Happiness Machine. It concludes at the end of Chapter 16, with Doug and Tom discussing the fact that adults never really were children and that there's no help for those ancient lumps of flesh whatsoever.

Act II

Act II spans chapters 17 through 37. It's all death all the time in Green Town, with Elizabeth Ramsell falling prey to the Lonely One and Doug almost falling prey to his own terror of mortality. If not for Mr. Jonas's magical home bottling company and Lavinia Nebbs's mad ninja skillz with a pair of sewing scissors, things might just go completely off the rails. ("Off the rails?" See what we did with the trolley reference there?)


Chapters 38 through 40 comprise Act III, and together they create the happy ending we've been hoping exists. Doug saves Grandma's cooking, pays Mr. Jonas's kindness forward, and the Spaulding family (minus Great-grandma) lives to see another summer.

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