The film's story begins in the bleak working class milieu of Stockholm. Harry (Lars Ekborg) and Monika (Harriet Andersson) are both in dead end jobs when they meet. Harry is easygoing, while Monika is adventurous, but they fall in love. When Monika learns she is pregnant, Harry does the right thing, and settles down with Monika and their child. He gets a real job and studies to provide for his family. Monika, however, is unsatisfied with her role as homemaker. She yearns for excitement and adventure, a desire which finally leads her astray. Harry is left behind with the child.