Study Guide

For Esmé with Love and Squalor Three Act Plot Analysis

By J.D. Salinger

Three Act Plot Analysis

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.