Study Guide

Passion Plot Analysis

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Plot Analysis

Exposition (Initial Situation)

The Return

Grace hasn't visited the Ottawa Valley for a long time. But now she's back, she's older, and she's looking for the Traverses' summer house. Also, we hear a lot about how things have changed.

Rising Action (Conflict, Complication)

Love Is in the Air (Sort of)

Flashback. It's summer, decades ago, and Grace is once again a teenager. Maury asks Grace out on a date, which is the beginning of Grace's involvement with the Travers family. The story wouldn't be possible without this complication.

Climax (Crisis, Turning Point)

The First Cut is the Deepest (Or Something Like That)

Grace cuts her foot on a clamshell and Neil Travers arrives. He applies some first aid (and by "first aid" we mean sexual tension…and first aid) before proposing to drive Grace to the hospital. The story couldn't resolve without that small scene in which Grace cuts her foot.

Falling Action

Never Drink and Drive

Neil and Grace go for a drive. They stop at a bar, they stop at a house, Neil drinks whiskey and licks Grace's palm. Basically, things happen.

Resolution (Denouement)

A New Beginning

Grace hears that Neil died in a car crash. Mr. Travers gives Grace a check for one thousand dollars, and everything is resolved. (Since it's an Alice Munro story, "resolved" might be an overstatement. Let's just say things reach a conclusion.)

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