The young Maren is seen by the government as licentious and ill-mannered. Fearing that her behavior will be copied by others, she sends Maren to a women's institution on the island of Sprogø. There she is taught how to behave like a dignified lady. She shares her room with Sørine, who has already been squeezed into the straitjacket. Sørine also becomes her mentor, but Maren has no intention of conforming to the rules.