Although The Stronger is a play in one act, we can identify the five stages of plot within the play. Identify and explain the five stages of plot as seen in The Stronger.

In The Stronger, stage 1 would be when Mrs. X enters the cafe and starts addressing Miss Y. Stage 2 could be the popgun incident or the Frêdêrique story. Stage 3 would be when Mrs. X reveals that she knows what went on between Miss Y and her husband. Stage 4 could be the sipping of the chocolate. Stage 5 would be when Mrs. X departs the cafe.

Expert Answers

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Before we can help you try and identify the five stages of the plot in Strindberg's peculiar play The Stronger, let's make sure we have a handle on the typical five stages.

Stage 1: Exposition

This stage introduces us to the setting, the characters, the conflict, and other kinds of basic information.

Stage 2: Rising Action

As the name suggests, this is when we begin to see conflict increase.

Stage 3: Climax

Again, as the name suggests, this is the big event or the apex of said conflict.

Stage 4: Falling Action

We can't stay in maximum conflict mode forever, so we begin to take it down a few notches and work toward some kind of ending.

Stage 5: Resolution

At last, the end. Typically, though not always, all the loose ends are somehow tied up or resolved.

Now, let's apply all of the above to The Stronger.

Stage 1: Exposition

When are we introduced to the characters and the setting in The Stronger? Perhaps it's when Mrs. X says to Miss Y,

Do you know it really hurts me to see you like this, alone, in a cafe, and on Christmas eve, too.

We have our characters, our setting, and our time (it’s Christmastime).

Stage 2: Rising Action

For us, the rising action could be when Mrs. X shoots the popgun at Miss Y. This might be Strindberg's way of preparing us for a bigger verbal conflict.

Yet you could argue the rising action belongs to the Frêdêrique story. That also leads up to Mrs. X's outburst toward Miss Y.

Stage 3: Climax

For us, the climax comes when Mrs. X talks about the "discord" that arrived when Miss Y visited their house. This part is punctuated by many exclamation points, including, perhaps most feverishly, Mrs. X yelling, "I hate you, hate you, hate you!"

Stage 4: Falling Action

Although it falls rather quickly, we'd say that the act of Mrs. X drinking chocolate fits this stage. When she starts with the chocolate, her outbursts subside. She seems calmer. It’s as if the chocolate soothes her.

Stage 5: Resolution

Maybe it's too obvious, but we'd say the resolution coincides with Mrs. X leaving the cafe. After all, when she leaves, we know that she is going back to her family and that Miss Y will continue to be alone and silent.

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